Australian freshwater fish species Melanotaenia duboulayi and Hypseleotris galii were selected for a small plot field evaluation of an integrated pest management strategy using native fish and VectoLex® WG (Bacillus sphaericus) for the control of Culex annulirostris Skuse, the principal freshwater vector of arbovirus Ross River virus in Australia. When tested alone, the level of control afforded by M. duboulayi and H. galii was highly dependent on the prerelease density of mosquito larvae; and even when stocking rates as high as 10 g per pond (>30 kg/ha) were used, larval abundance was too high to attain adequate control from fish alone. In contrast, treatment with VectoLex WG at 500 g/ha resulted in 100% mortality of Cx. annulirostris immatures, but no residual activity was evident. The delayed reduction of Cx. annulirostris immatures in ponds stocked with fish alone, and the recolonization by Cx. annulirostris in ponds after treatment with B. sphaericus, did not occur when both treatments were combined.
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Vol. 22 • No. 3