The horn fly, Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae), was introduced to Chile in the beginning of the 1990s. Since its introduction, farmers have controlled this pest almost exclusively with insecticides. To understand the consequences of different control strategies on the development of insecticide resistance and their persistence, a field survey was conducted at eight farms in the south of Chile to characterize insecticide resistance in field populations and resistance mechanisms. Horn fly samples were assayed to determine levels of resistance to pyrethroids and diazinon, genotyped for kdr and HiαE7 mutations, and tested for general esterase activity. All field populations, including ones that were not treated with insecticides for the past 5 yr, showed high levels of cypermethrin resistance and high frequencies of the kdr mutation. None of the fly populations demonstrated resistance to diazinon and the HiαE7 mutation was not detected in any of the fly samples. Esterase activities in all populations were comparable to those found in the susceptible reference strain. The findings of high frequencies of homozygous resistant and heterozygous individuals both in insecticide treated horn fly populations and in the untreated fly populations suggests complex interactions among field populations of the horn fly in Chile.
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Vol. 104 • No. 1