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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #282718


Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Efficacy and longevity of the newly developed catnip oil microcapsules against stable fly oviposition larval growth

item Zhu, Junwei - Jerry
item Wienhold, Brian
item Wehrle, Joe - Microtek Laboratories, Inc.
item Davis, Dan - Microtek Laboratories, Inc.
item Chen, Han - University Of Nebraska
item Taylor, David - Dave
item Friesen, Kristina
item Zurek, Ludek - Kansas State University

Submitted to: Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/11/2013
Publication Date: 9/23/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Zhu, J.J., Wienhold, B.J., Wehrle, J., Davis, D., Chen, H., Taylor, D.B., Friesen, K.M., Zurek, L. 2013. Efficacy and longevity of the newly developed catnip oil microcapsules against stable fly oviposition larval growth. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 28:222-227. DOI: 10.1111/MVE.12029.

Interpretive Summary: Stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L), are one of the most serious biting flies on cattle and cause over $2 billion losses annually on beef and milk production in U.S. cattle industry. Gravid female stable flies prefer to lay their eggs in rotting, decaying or fermenting organic materials, often associated with livestock animal waste. Stable flies have been reported to readily develop in these materials which are considered to be the primary source for emerging stable flies, especially during early summer in the Midwest region of the U.S. Insecticides and cultural sanitation are two primary methods for adult stable fly control in confined and pasture settings. The direct application of insecticides provides only marginal control and insecticide resistance in both laboratory colonies and field populations have recently been detected. Sanitation methods involve the removal of the residue which is expensive and labor intensive. The present work describes development of gelatin-based microcapsules containing catnip essential oil that used for the control of stable flies.

Technical Abstract: The stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans (Diptera: Muscidae), is one of the most important pests of cattle and costs U.S. cattle producers billions of dollars in losses annually. In this study, the efficacy of catnip oil encapsulated in gelatin in oviposition deterrence and larval growth inhibition in stable flies was examined under laboratory conditions. More than 98% inhibition of stable fly larval growth and female oviposition was observed in larval and oviposition media treated with encapsulated catnip oil (0.5 g). Further, dose–response tests showed that as little as 0.1 g of encapsulated catnip oil provided >85% oviposition deterrence. The release of nepetalactones from the capsules was more rapid when the capsules were placed on a moist substrate rather than a dry substrate. Encapsulated catnip oil also exhibited antibacterial activity, supporting the hypothesis that its inhibition of larval growth may be based on its killing of the bacteria on which larvae feed. The use of encapsulated catnip oil can provide an alternative control strategy for stable fly management.