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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Mihok, Steve
item Carlson, David

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/23/2006
Publication Date: 4/1/2007
Citation: Mihok, S., Carlson, D.A. 2007. Performance of painted plywood and cloth nzi traps relative to manitoba and greenhead traps for tabanids and stable flies. Journal of Economic Entomology. 100(2):613-618.

Interpretive Summary: Field trials of several unpowered traps to control biting flies were completed using readily available materials including plywood, colored cloth, cloth netting or window screen. A scientist from the USDA, ARS, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL performed cooperative field tests in Florida. The traps were more effective in capturing horse flies, stable flies, deer flies and yellow flies than mosquitoes. Painted plywood Nzi traps were compared to standard phthalogen blue cloth traps to confirm their efficiency. Plywood traps caught as many biting flies as cloth traps, so long as blue and black paints were matt and contained enough blue colorant to approximate phthalogen blue, and painted metal surfaces were not shiny. Catches of horse flies were better with the Nzi traps compared to catches in Manitoba horse fly traps and greenhead box traps. This project showed that the trapping of North American biting flies could be improved. These traps could be built as a long-lasting, pesticide-free Do-It-Yourself project that is very effective against North American biting fly pests.

Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted to adapt the cloth Nzi trap to a painted plywood format suitable for fixed applications in biting fly control near livestock. The objective was to develop a “Do-It-Yourself” (DIY) trap for the consumer, using only readily-available materials. Catches of tabanids (Tabanus L., Chrysops Meigen, Hybomitra Enderlein), stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans L.) and mosquitoes (mostly Aedes Meigen) in painted Nzi traps were compared to those in standard phthalogen blue cloth traps to validate performance. Catches of tabanids were also compared to the Manitoba horse fly trap, and the Cape Cod greenhead box trap. Plywood traps caught as many biting flies as cloth traps, so long as paints were matt and contained enough blue colorant to approximate phthalogen blue. Nzi traps caught roughly the same fauna as other tabanid traps, but with greatly-improved catches of Chrysops, and with particularly high catches of Tabanus. Shiny features of traps reduced catches, e.g. paint on smooth cloth instead of textured wood, or use of shiny aluminum screening. Recommendations are provided on suitable paints and appropriate color matching.

Last Modified: 07/22/2017
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