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Activity and distribution of the mushroom phorid fly, Megaselia halterata, in and around commercial mushroom farms
- Mazin, Maria, Andreadis, Stefanos S., Jenkins, Nina E., Cloonan, Kevin R., Baker, T.C., Rajotte, Ed G.
- Entomologia experimentalis et applicata 2019 v.167 no.5 pp. 389-395
- Megaselia halterata, adults, breeding, composts, farms, flight, growers, integrated pest management, lawns and turf, life history, mushroom growing, mushrooms, pests, solar radiation, sticky traps, temperature, windbreaks
- The mushroom phorid fly, Megaselia halterata (Wood) (Diptera: Phoridae), is a key pest in mushroom farming in most parts of the world. Studies on the mushroom phorid fly have focused on its life history within mushroom growing houses, but little is known about the fly's activity outside mushroom growing houses. In this study, daily activity and distribution of adult M. halterata in the areas surrounding mushroom growing houses was studied using yellow sticky traps. Results suggest that M. halterata focuses its flight activity over turf areas rather than windbreaks and spent compost piles, possibly for mating purposes. Our study found no evidence of M. halterata breeding in turf areas surrounding mushroom growing houses. In addition, flight activity is highest in the afternoon until midnight at higher temperatures, yet at lower temperatures activity ceases after sunset. Establishing temperature and daylight thresholds for M. halterata flight activity may be useful in developing integrated pest management (IPM) tactics for this species. The most successful IPM tool that mushroom growers use at present is fly exclusion. Exclusion can be improved by focusing farm operations around temperature and daylight thresholds when fly activity is at its lowest.