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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Research Project #427580

Research Project: Integrated Management of Stable Flies

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Project Number: 3042-32000-010-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 1, 2014
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Objective 1: Develop sustainable methods for the management of stable flies and other flies impacting livestock production. Sub-objective 1.1 Identify and test larvicides for stable flies and other flies developing in livestock wastes. Sub-objective 1.2 Develop attractants for use on traps. Sub-objective 1.3 Develop adult fly repellents with extended residual activity. Sub-objective 1.4 Evaluate effects of stable flies on behavior and productivity of cattle. Sub-objective 1.5 Evaluate the effectiveness of a Push-Pull stable fly management strategy. Objective 2: Characterize effects of biological, chemical, and physical substrate properties on stable fly larval development. Sub-objective 2.1 Characterize functional groups of microorganisms in substrates associated with stable fly and house fly larval development. Sub-objective 2.2 Identify endosymbionts and parasitoids associated with stable flies. Sub-objective 2.3 Characterize nutritional factors required for stable fly larval development. Objective 3: Develop a physiologically based demographic model (PBDM) to predict temporal and spatial patterns of stable fly population dynamics under current and potential climatic conditions. Sub-objective 3.1 Determine physiological responses of stable fly developmental stages to environmental variables. Sub-objective 3.2 Incorporate parameters from 3.1 into PBDM. Sub-objective 3.3 Validate PBDM.

Stable flies are among the most serious arthropod pests of livestock in the United States, costing producers in excess of $2 billion per year in lost production. They exhibit an extraordinary ability to adapt to, and exploit, regional agricultural and animal husbandry practices. Stable fly management has proven to be a daunting task largely due to their adaptability, mobility, and gaps in our knowledge of their behavior and biology. This project will address all of these issues. Primarily, the project will develop new methods for the management of stable flies by exploiting the most vulnerable stages in their life cycles. Secondarily, we will develop a better understanding of stable fly biology and how they interact with their environment and hosts. Finally, new and existing information on stable fly biology will be incorporated into a dynamic, physiologically-based demographic model. This model will permit us to predict the dynamics of stable fly populations under real and potential environmental conditions, as well as provide insight into the validity of our understanding of their interactions with biotic and abiotic factors in the environment for development and reproduction. Successful completion of this project will result in new technologies for the management of stable fly populations, reduced impact of stable flies on livestock production systems, and a greater understanding of their biology for the continued development and evolution of stable fly management technologies.