Scientist to develop new housefly pest control formula

Scientist to develop new housefly pest control formula
A City-based scientist is working on developing a new formula to attract and kill houseflies that have become resistant to many insecticides available in the market.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Kesavan Subaharan, Principal Scientist, National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), said he was working on creating two formulations to control houseflies.

One is a chemical formulation and the other is a formula to control them biologically with the help of microbes that kill them. These microbes can be used in garbage dumps, he added.

NBAIR, located at Hebbal in the City, works under the administrative control of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). According to Abraham Verghese, Director, NBAIR, houseflies have developed resistance against the synthetic pyrethroid used in insecticides.

Houseflies have become a nuisance in public places and transmit germs, causing diseases such as diarrhoea. They are found in restaurants, poultry farms, houses, dairy farms and other public places. The product is likely to hit the market in six months, he said.

Positive results

Subaharan is already seeing positive results for the formula during field trials as well as in the laboratory. Field trials for the formula kickstarted a week ago and were carried out at some poultry farms on the outskirts of the City. To test the microbes and formulation being developed to kill these flies, houseflies are also being cultured in the laboratory.

With the use of insecticide sprays available in the market, houseflies scatter around after they die. This problem can be avoided with the use of NBAIR’s attractant. The cost component of the attractant and killer has not yet been calculated but it will be available at the rate on a par with the presently available insecticide products in the market or even lower than that.

The patent of the attractant and killer will be sold to private players, individuals and interested persons in the market once developed. After rigorous field and laboratory trials, it will be ready in another six months, he added.
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