Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #241770

Title: Chemical ecology of stable fly and its future practical applications in control

item Zhu, Junwei - Jerry
item Berkebile, Dennis
item Zhang, Aijun
item Klun, Jerome
item Behle, Robert
item Dunlap, Christopher
item ZUREK, LUDEK - Kansas State University

Submitted to: International Society of Chemical Ecology Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2009
Publication Date: 8/27/2009
Citation: Zhu, J.J., Berkebile, D.R., Zhang, A., Klun, J.A., Behle, R.W., Dunlap, C.A., Zurek, L. 2009. Chemical ecology of stable fly and its future practical applications in control [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the International Society of Chemical Ecology Annual Meeting, August 23-27, 2009, Neuchatel, Switzerland. Paper 125.

Interpretive Summary: The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans L., is the most serious livestock pest that primarily feeds on a wide range of livestock animals. They sometimes even attack pet animals and humans in rural areas. Their feeding on grazing cattle has also led to increased disease incidence, reproductive failure and reduction of meat and milk yields, with estimated economic loss up to billions of dollars in beef and dairy industry. Furthermore, stable flies are capable of transmitting a large variety of pathogens ranging from helminth, protozoans, bacteria, to virus. Stable fly control consists of chemical control and classical control using insecticides are unsustainable in the long term because of the likelihood of the development of insecticide resistance, and direct spray of insecticides on animals resulted in only marginal effectiveness, especially for those animals in pastures. The current presentation reports our recent discoveries on contact and spatial repellency, as well as their adulticidal activity of major ingredient compounds, ZE-nepetalactone and EZ-nepetalactone, from the essential oil of catnip, Nepeta cataria, against stable fly feeding. It will also show their effectiveness as a repellent against other biting flies, as well as their potentials for reducing egg-deposition from gravid stable flies. We will show some preliminary results demonstrating the effectiveness of developed catnip repellent formulations (10%) on repelling stable flies in cattle feedlots. Last, we will discuss the future development of Push-Pull strategy using repellents and fly attractants.

Technical Abstract: The present study reports the discovery of catnip as an effective repellent, as well as its adulticidal activity on stable fly. The essential oil of catnip reduced the biting of stable flies by more than 96% in an in vitro bioassay system, when compared with other sesquiterpene-rich plant oils. Catnip was also a strong spatial repellent, and it reduced gravid stable fly egg-laying at a 98% inhibition-rate. Catnip demonstrated the most repellency against stable flies, with strong repellency observed from other insect repellents, including isolongifolenone, 2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide and (1S,2'S)-2-methylpiperidinyl-3-cyclohexen-1-carboxamide as well. But, the repellency from most commonly used repellent, DEET, was relatively lower. In addition, adulticidal activity of catnip was also measured to have a knock-down time less than 6min and kill time of ~16min. The calculated LC50 and LC90 values were 3.7 mg and 19.57 mg per 20 cm2, respectively. Compared to control, slow-release formulations containing 10% catnip oil showed at least 90% of repellency were observed in the cattle feedlot trials. The catnip repellency against other filth fly species, such as horn fly and face fly was also conducted. In addition, the exploration of potential filth fly attractants (including oviposition attractants) will be discussed, as well their future applications in fly management using a Push-Pull strategy.