The overall objective of the proposal is the development of new control methods for the chicken mite, Derma- nyssus gallinae, a major arthropod pest affecting the health and welfare of poultry, and also a threat to human health due to its capacity to carry bacteria such as Salmonella. The new control methods will be based on the employment of a combination of naturally occurring semiochemicals (attractants) influencing mite behaviour and mite pathogenic fungi (biological control agents) in a lure-and-kill strategy. Such control methods will have a positive impact on the transition to sustainable egg production, and will allow a reduction in the use of persistent broad-spectrum synthetic insecticides. The overall objective will be achieved as the result of three workpackages:
1) isolation and identification of semiochemicals attractive to D. gallinae,
2) isolation and selection of mite pathogenic fungi with high virulence against chicken mites and with good field persistence, and
3) development of a prototype trap based on a combination of the identified semiochemicals and the selected fungal isolates.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
TW20 9TY Egham,surrey
AL5 2JQ Harpenden
CF37 5SU Pontypridd