Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Survey and Management of Stable Flies at the National Zoological Park. Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 3, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The National Zoological Park is a highly visible facility located in the city of Washington, DC, bounded by densely populated urban areas. For a number of years the zoo has had problems with stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans L., feeding, particularly, on the canids, ungulates, and the great cats. A similar situation has existed at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) located in rural Front Royal, Virginia. In the spring of 2009, a series of alsynite sticky traps and pesticide-treated blue-black cloth targets were placed adjacent to each other in selected locations at the zoo and at the SCBI for monitoring and implementing a management strategy, respectively. Stable flies were present at both locations on May 4, the first collection date. Flies peaked at the zoo on June 8, followed by a similar peak at the SCBI 2 weeks later. Fly populations continued to cycle throughout the remainder of the study but with steadily decreasing peaks. The largest fly populations at the zoo were found at the Kids Farm, followed by the Cheetah-zebra-antelope holding compound. The lowest numbers were at the Przewalski’s horses, possibly because traps were placed too high. Traps and targets placed near the great cats proved ineffective because optimal placement was impossible with the cats running free in their open compounds. The study was terminated on November 5. Presently it is difficult to assess the effects of the blue-black targets, because targets placed next to traps increase the numbers of flies captured on the traps. Most flies die with 2 minutes of landing on the targets, but this gives them ample time to get captured on the traps before dying. Feedback from various zoo keepers was positive and a second year of study is underway.