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Temperature and Humidity Effects on Off-Host Survival of the Northern Fowl Mite (Acari: Macronyssidae) and the Chicken Body Louse (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae)

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Off-host survival of the northern fowl mite, Ornithonyssus sylviarum (Canestrini & Fanzago) (Acari: Macronyssidae), and the chicken body louse, Menacanthus stramineus (Nitzsch) (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae), was studied at 12 combinations of temperature (15, 21, 27, and 33°C) and humidity (31, 65, and 85% RH). Mite protonymphs and louse third instars survived longer on average than the respective adult stages. Higher temperatures significantly reduced survival of adult and immature stages of both ectoparasites, whereas relative humidity had significant effects on O. sylviarum (especially protonymphs) but not M. stramineus. The LT50 values for adult northern fowl mites ranged from 1.9 (at 33°C, 31%RH) to 8.3 d (at 15°C, 85%RH), LT50 values for mite protonymphs ranged from 2.0 (at 33°C, 31%RH) to 18.1 d (at 15°C, 85%RH), LT50 values for adult lice ranged from 0.5 (at 33°C, 31%RH) to 1.7 d (at 15°C, 65%RH), and LT50 values for nymphal lice ranged from 1.2 (at 33°C, 65%RH) to 3.3 d (at 21°C, 31%RH). Maximum survival of the northern fowl mite was up to 35 d for adults and 29 d for protonymphs. Maximum survival for the chicken body louse was 3.3 d for adults and 5.8 d for nymphs. The data provide minimum guidelines for leaving poultry houses vacant long enough to allow ectoparasites to die before introduction of subsequent new flocks.

Keywords: Menacanthus stramineus; Ornithonyssus sylviarum; humidity; survival; temperature

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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