Insects are the most numerous of all animals and are found in almost every inhabitable place on earth. The order Diptera (true flies) contains many members that are notorious agricultural pests, nuisance or vectors of diseases. The list is long: mosquitoes, tsetse flies, screw worms, fruit flies, sand flies, blow flies, house flies, gall and biting midges, black flies, leaf miners, horse flies, and so on. Efforts to combat some of these pests and vectors have resulted in control measures such as the chemical, physical, and cultural control methods. These methods, though largely beneficial, have disadvantages and limitations, which sometimes seem to outweigh the problems initially sought to be controlled. The chemical method, for example, is not environment-friendly since it negatively affects many nontarget organisms and disrupts ecosystem balance. Development of insecticide resistance by pests/vectors is another concern. Molecular biotechnology has introduced vast arrays of novel ways to tackle pests and disease vectors, as well as improve the potency of existing control methods. This chapter looks at transgenic and paratransgenic biotechnologies and how they have been applied so far to develop and expand the arsenal against dipteran pests and disease vectors. Further, we discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and limitations of these technologies.
Part of the book: Biological Control of Pest and Vector Insects