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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Problem with Flies: Myiasis, and the Biology and Control of Stable Flies

Author
item Scholl, Philip

Submitted to: American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 19, 2003
Publication Date: July 19, 2003
Citation: SCHOLL, P.J. THE PROBLEM WITH FLIES: MYIASIS, AND THE BIOLOGY AND CONTROL OF STABLE FLIES. AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VETERINARY PARASITOLOGISTS. 2003.

Interpretive Summary: Flies are classified in the Family Diptera and are so named because of their common feature of having two wings as adults (di = two; ptera = wing). Myiasis is defined as the infestation of live human and vertebrate animals with dipterous larvae, which at least for a certain period of time feed on the host's living or dead tissue, liquid body-substances, or ingested food. Historically, the most important myiasis fly was the New World Screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, which has been successfully eradicated from North America using the Sterile Insect Technique. Other important myiasis-producing flies from the Americas include the agriculturally important oestrid flies (e.g. cattle grubs, horse bots, sheep nose bots, and Dermatobia from South America), all of which are easily controlled by administration of macrocyclic lactones, especially the avermectins. Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, have recently become, by most estimates, the arthropod responsible for the greatest production losses to cattle in the U.S. Stable flies were once considered to be pests of confined beef only with no long-term, effective chemical solution. Recently, probably due to increased round bale feeding, they have also been implicated as being responsible for serious losses to pastured cattle. The total annual loss attributed to this pest when considering both confined and pasture cattle has been estimated to be nearly one billion dollars.

Technical Abstract: Flies are classified in the Family Diptera and are so named because of their common feature of having two wings as adults (di = two; ptera = wing). Myiasis is defined as the infestation of live human and vertebrate animals with dipterous larvae, which at least for a certain period of time feed on the host's living or dead tissue, liquid body-substances, or ingested food. Historically, the most important myiasis fly was the New World Screwworm, Cochliomyia hominivorax, which has been successfully eradicated from North America using the Sterile Insect Technique. Other important myiasis-producing flies from the Americas include the agriculturally important oestrid flies (e.g. cattle grubs, horse bots, sheep nose bots, and Dermatobia from South America), all of which are easily controlled by administration of macrocyclic lactones, especially the avermectins. Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans, have recently become, by most estimates, the arthropod responsible for the greatest production losses to cattle in the U.S. Stable flies were once considered to be pests of confined beef only with no long-term, effective chemical solution. Recently, probably due to increased round bale feeding, they have also been implicated as being responsible for serious losses to pastured cattle. The total annual loss attributed to this pest when considering both confined and pasture cattle has been estimated to be nearly one billion dollars.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014