Synergistic and antagonistic effects of insecticide binary mixtures against house flies (Musca domestica)

  • M. A. Levchenko All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Veterinary Entomology and Arachnology, Branch of Federal State Institution Federal Research Centre Tyumen Scientific Centre, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • E. A. Silivanova All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Veterinary Entomology and Arachnology, Branch of Federal State Institution Federal Research Centre Tyumen Scientific Centre, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: combination index; feeding test; insecticide interaction; insecticide mixture; house fly control.


The house fly, Musca domestica Linnaeus, 1758 (Diptera, Muscidae), is known as a globally distributed parasite with veterinary and medical importance and the ability to develop resistance to insecticides Insecticide mixtures can contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of existing insecticides against house flies and to implementing insecticide resistance management. The present study was conducted to assess the efficacy of four insecticides with different modes of action, applied alone and in binary mixtures, against adults of the M. domestica laboratory strain by no-choice feeding bioassays. The interaction patterns of neonicotinoid acetamiprid, phenylpyrazole fipronil, avermectin ivermectin, and pyrrole chlorfenapyr in the binary mixtures were likewise analyzed by calculating the combination indices to find out combinations with the synergistic effect. The analysis of values of insecticide lethal concentrations for 50% mortality revealed that the toxicity of acetamiprid, fipronil, and ivermectin increased in the binary mixtures compared to when they applied alone, while the toxicity of chlorfenapyr depended on the second insecticide in the mixtures. The combination index values of five insecticide mixtures, fipronil/acetamiprid (1:10), fipronil/chlorfenapyr (1:4), ivermectin/acetamiprid (1:2.5), ivermectin/chlorfenapyr (1:3 and 1:10) were <1, which displays a synergism. Three insecticide mixtures, acetamiprid/chlorfenapyr (1:4), fipronil/ivermectin (1:4), fipronil/chlorfenapyr (1:40), had combination index values >1, which indicates an antagonism. The fipronil/chlorfenapyr (1:4) mixture was the more toxic to adults of M. domestica. The ivermectin/chlorfenapyr (1:10) mixture and the ivermectin/acetamiprid (1:2.5) mixture produced the highest synergistic effects. The results of the present study suggest that the interaction patterns (synergistic or antagonistic) in the insecticide mixtures can depend on both the combination of insecticides and their ratio. Further studies are required in order to evaluate the synergistic combinations against field populations of M. domestica.


Abbas, N., Crickmore, N., & Shad, S. A. (2015). Efficacy of insecticide mixtures against a resistant strain of house fly (Diptera: Muscidae) collected from a poultry farm. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 35(1), 48–53.

Acevedo, G. R., Zapater, M., & Toloza, A. C. (2009). Insecticide resistance of house fly, Musca domestica (L.) from Argentina. Parasitology Research, 105, 489–493.

Ahmad, M., Saleem, M. A., & Sayyed, A. H. (2009). Efficacy of insecticide mixtures against pyrethroid- and organophosphate-resistant populations of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). Pest Management Science, 65(3), 266–274.

Bass, C., Denholm, I., Williamson, M. S., & Nauen, R. (2015). The global status of insect resistance to neonicotinoid insecticides. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 121, 78–87.

Black, B. C., Hollingworth, R. M., Ahammadsahib, K. I., Kukel, C. D., & Dono van, S. (1994). Insecticidal action and mitochondrial uncoupling activity of AC-303,630 and related halogenated pyrroles. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 50, 115–128.

Casida, J. E., & Durkin, K. A. (2013). Neuroactive insecticides: Targets, selectivity, resistance, and secondary effects. Annual Review of Entomology, 58, 99–117.

Cloyd, R. A., & Raudenbush, A. L. (2014). Efficacy of binary pesticide mixtures against western flower thrips. Horttechnology, 24(4), 449–456.

Corbel, V., Chandre, F., Darriet, F., Lardeux, F., & Hougard, J. M. (2003). Syner gism between permethrin and propoxur against Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito larvae. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 17, 158–164.

David, J. P., Ismail, H. M., Chandor-Proust, A., & Paine, M. J. I. (2013). Role of cytochrome P450s in insecticide resistance: Impact on the control of mosquito-borne diseases and use of insecticides on Earth. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Science, 368, 20120429.

Doud, C. W., Scott, H. M., & Zurek, L. (2014). Role of house flies in the ecology of Enterococcus faecalis from wastewater treatment facilities. Microbial Ecology, 67(2), 380–391.

Durel, L., Estrada-Peña, A., Franc, M., Mehlhorn, H., & Bouyer, J. (2015). Integ rated fly management in European ruminant operations from the perspective of directive 2009/128/EC on sustainable use of pesticides. Parasitology Research, 114, 379–389.

Eremina, O. Y., & Ibragimkhalilova, I. V. (2010). Synergistic effect of binary neo nicotinoid-pyrethroid mixtures on insects. Agrokhimiya, 2, 37–44.

Jonker, M. J., Svendsen, C., Bedaux, J. J., Bongers, M., & Kammenga, J. E. (2005). Significance testing of synergistic/antagonistic, dose level-dependent, or dose ratio-dependent effects in mixture dose-response analysis. Environ mental Toxicology and Chemistry, 24(10), 2701–2713.

Kaufman, P. E., Nunez, S. C., Mann, R. S., Geden, C. J., & Scharf, M. E. (2010). Ni cotinoid and pyrethroid insecticide resistance in houseflies (Diptera: Muscidae) collected from Florida dairies. Pest Management Science, 66, 290–294.

Kaufman, P. E., Scott, J. G., & Rutz, D. A. (2001). Monitoring insecticide resis tance in house flies (Diptera: Muscidae) from New York dairies. Pest Mana gement Science, 57(6), 514–521.

Khamesipour, F., Lankarani, K., Honarvar, B., & Kwenti, T. (2018). A systematic review of human pathogens carried by the housefly (Musca domestica L.). BMC Public Health, 18, 1049.

Khan, H. A. A., Akram, W., Shad, S. A., & Lee, J. J. (2013b). Insecticide mixtures could enhance the toxicity of insecticides in a resistant dairy population of Musca domestica L. PLoS One, 8(4), e60929.

Khan, H. A., Akram, W., & Shad, S. A. (2013a). Resistance to conventional insec ticides in Pakistani populations of Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae): A potential ectoparasite of dairy animals. Ecotoxicology, 22, 522–527.

Malik, A., Singh, N., & Satya, S. (2007). House fly (Musca domestica): A review of control strategies for a challenging pest. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B, 42, 453–469.

Markussen, M. D. K., & Kristensen, M. (2010). Cytochrome P450 monooxygenase-mediated neonicotinoid resistance in the house fly Musca domestica L. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 98, 50–58.

Markussen, M. D. K., & Kristensen, M. (2011). Spinosad resistance in female Musca domestica L. from a field-derived population. Pest Management Science, 68, 75–82.

Mohammed, A. N., Abdel-Latef, G. K., Abdel-Azeem, N. M., & El-Dakhly, K. M. (2016). Ecological study on antimicrobial-resistant zoonotic bacteria trans mitted by flies in cattle farms. Parasitology Research, 115(10), 3889–3896.

Nasir, M., Imran, M., & Ahmad, M. (2013). Pyrethroids synergize new chemical insecticides in field populations of Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutel lidae). Pakistan Journal of Zoology, 45(3), 629–633.

Nazari, M., Mehrabi, T., Hosseini, S. M., & Alikhani, M. Y. (2017). Bacterial Contamination of adult house flies (Musca domestica) and sensitivity of these bacteria to various antibiotics, captured from Hamadan City, Iran. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 11, DC04–DC07.

Ngufor, C., Critchley, J., Fagbohoun, J., N’Guessan, R., Todjinou, D., & Rowland, M. (2016). Chlorfenapyr (a pyrrole insecticide) applied alone or as a mixture with alpha-cypermethrin for indoor residual spraying against pyrethroid resistant Anopheles gambiae Sl: An experimental hut study in Cove, Benin. PLoS One, 11, e0162210.

Omura, S., & Crump, A. (2004). The life and times of ivermectin – a success story. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 2(12), 984–989.

Ritz, C., & Streibig, J. C. (2014). From additivity to synergism: A modelling perspective. Synergy, 1, 22–29.

Scott, J. G., Leichter, C. A., Rinkevich, F. D., Harris, S. A., Su, C., Aberegg, L. C., Moon, R., Geden, C. J., Gerry, A. C., Taylor, D. B., Byford, R. L., Watson, W., Jonson, G., Boxler, D., & Zurek, L. (2013). Insecticide resistance in house flies from the United States: Resistance levels and frequency of pyrethroid resistance alleles. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 107, 377–384.

Scott, J. G., Warren, W. C., Beukeboom, L. W., Bopp, D., Clark, A. G., Giers, S. D., Hediger, M., Jones, A. K., Kasai, S., Leichter, C. A. (2014). Genome of the house fly, Musca domestica L., a global vector of diseases with adap tations to a septic environment. Genome Biology, 15, 466.

Sparks, T. C., & Nauen, R. (2015). IRAC: Mode of action, classification and insecticide resistance management. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, 121, 122–128.

Sudo, M., Takahashi, D., Andow, D. A., Suzuki, Y., & Yamanaka, T. (2017). Optimal management strategy of insecticide resistance under various insect life histories: Heterogeneous timing of selection and interpatch dispersal. Evolutionary Applications, 11(2), 271–283.

Taillebois, E., & Thany, S. H. (2016). The differential effect of low-dose mixtures of four pesticides on the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. Insects, 7(4), 53.

Usui, M., Shirakawa, T., Fukuda, A., & Tamura, Y. (2015). The role of flies in disseminating plasmids with antimicrobial-resistance genes between farms. Microbial Drug Resistance, 21, 562–569.

Wang, Y. C., Chang, Y. C., Chuang, H. L., Chiu, C. C., Yeh, K. S., Chang, C. C., Hsuan, S. L., Lin, W. H., & Chen, T. H. (2011). Transmission of Salmonella between swine farms by the housefly (Musca domestica). Journal of Food Protection, 74, 1012–1016.

Yuan, J. Z., Li, Q. F., Huanga, J. B., & Gao, J. F. (2015). Effect of chlorfenapyr on cypermethrin-resistant Culex pipiens pallens Coq mosquitoes. Acta Tropica, 143, 13–17.

Zhu, F., Lavine, L., O’Neal, S., Lavine, M., Foss, C., & Walsh, D. (2016). Insecti cide resistance and management strategies in urban ecosystems. Insects, 7, 2.

How to Cite
Levchenko, M. A., & Silivanova, E. A. (2019). Synergistic and antagonistic effects of insecticide binary mixtures against house flies (Musca domestica) . Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 10(1), 75-82.