Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: An Attractant for House Flies Based on Components Identified in Blackstrap Molasses Authors
Submitted to: Livestock Insect Work Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2008
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Early research on house flies demonstrated that flies are attracted to a variety of sweet and fermenting materials. Most of the research on fly attractants during the past 35 years, however, has concentrated on pheromones (z-9-tricosene) and products involved in the metabolism and breakdown of proteins rather than sugars. The most widely used attractant is a mixture of z-9-tricosene, trimethylamine and indole/skatole, and this blend has been used in several effective and popular scatter baits and jar traps. One drawback to the use of these products is that the strongly pungent odor of the latter compounds prevents their use in areas near people. In field studies we found that a 25% dilution of blackstrap molasses used for cattle feed was as attractive as the commercial attractant. Chemical analysis of blackstrap molasses revealed the presence of many components that are associated with sugar metabolism and with properties that could be used by flies as token stimuli for the presence of sugars. A 7-component blend of these molasses constituents looks particularly promising as a novel fly attractant. In outdoor cage studies the blend was as attractive as molasses and the standard commercial fly attractant. The blend has an unobjectionable odor and could have potential for use in locations near people where other fly lures can not be used.