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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL AND PROTECTION TOOLS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF MOSQUITOES AND FILTH FLIES Title: Visual Targets for Capture and Management of House Flies, Musca Domestica L.

item Geden, Christopher

Submitted to: Journal of Vector Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2006
Publication Date: June 1, 2006
Citation: Geden, C.J. 2006. VISUAL TARGETS FOR CAPTURE AND MANAGEMENT OF HOUSE FLIES, MUSCA DOMESTICA L.. Journal of Vector Ecology. 31:152-157.

Interpretive Summary: House flies are important vectors of a wide variety of food-borne diseases and cost livestock and poultry producers an estimated $50 million per year. Surveillance and control methods for flies are fairly well established for indoor fly populations such as those found inside livestock barns and poultry houses. In contrast, outdoor fly populations are more challenging to monitor and manage, yet these are the populations that pose the greatest nuisance and public health concerns. In this study, a scientist at USDA’s Center for Medical, Veterinary and Agricultural Entomology in Gainesville (Florida) evaluated components of visual attractant systems that have developed in Africa for control of related muscoid flies such as tsetse and stable flies to determine their possible utility in house fly management programs. A visual target made of 50% Pacific Blue awning fabric and Alsynite fiberglass was found to be as attractive or more attractive than any other visual attractant for both house flies and stable flies. Placement of visual targets near bait stations increased bait collections for dry but not liquid baits. Visual targets treated with a pesticide (bifenthrin) provided ca. 90% control of flies in outdoor cages after 4 days. The results indicate that visual targets can be used to optimize fly monitoring programs and can be exploited in attract-and-kill programs for flies.

Technical Abstract: House flies and stable flies were monitored on a Florida dairy farm using a commercial Alsynite sticky cylinder trap that was either used as-is or covered with white, blue, or black outdoor awning fabric (Sunbrella). Fly collections of both species of flies were highest on exposed Alsynite (house flies, 506.2 flies/day; stable flies, 19.1) followed by blue fabric (house flies, 308.1 flies/day; stable flies 12.5). Responses of both species to white and black fabric were 70% lower than to either of the former materials. When blue fabric was used to cover 50% of the surface area of Alsynite cylinders, house fly responses were significantly higher (290.2 flies/day) than to blue fabric alone (165.2); stable fly responses to this bicolored target were significantly higher (152.6) than to Alsynite alone (93.8). Comparison of fly counts in the blue-covered versus uncovered Alsynite with traps of a single material indicated that house fly attraction to blue fabric was enhanced by the presence of clear Alsynite, whereas stable fly attraction to Alsynite was enhanced by the presence of blue fabric. The presence of blue+Alsynite visual targets increased collections of flies in pans of dry fly bait but not in baited jug traps. Visual targets treated with 1.2% bifenthrin controlled >50% and 90% of house flies in large cages by days 2 and 4 after placement, respectively.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014