Strategies for controlling cat fleas, Ctenocephalides felis felis (Bouché), have undergone dramatic changes in the past 5 yr. With the advent of on-animal treatments with residual activity the potential for the development of insecticide resistance increases. A larval bioassay was developed to determine the baseline susceptibility of field-collected strains of cat fleas to imidacloprid. All four laboratory strains tested showed a similar level of susceptibility to imidacloprid. Advantages of this bioassay are that smaller numbers of fleas are required because flea eggs are collected for the test. Insect growth regulators and other novel insecticides can also be evaluated. Using a discriminating dose, the detection of reduced susceptibility in field strains can be determined with as few as 40 eggs.
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Vol. 39 • No. 4