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Observations on the Domestic Ecology of Rhodnius ecuadoriensis (Triatominae)

Keywords: Rhodnius ecuadoriensis , ecology , feeding , Chagas disease , control , Ecuador

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Abstract:

Rhodnius ecuadoriensis infests peridomiciles and colonises houses in rural southern Ecuador. Six out of 84 dwellings (7%) surveyed in a rural village were infested (78 bugs/infested domicile; 279 bugs were collected in a single dwelling). Precipitin tests revealed R. ecuadoriensis fed on birds (65%), rodents (31%), marsupials (8%), and humans (15%) - mixed bloodmeals detected in 37.5% of individual samples. Trypanosoma cruzi from opossums and rodents may thus be introduced into the domestic cycle. Wasp parasitoidism was detected in 6.5% of 995 R. ecuadoriensis eggs (only in peridomestic habitats). Control strategies should integrate insecticide spraying (indoors and peridomestic), better management of poultry, and housing improvements. A possible inefficacy of Malathion is reported.

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