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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lincoln, Nebraska » Agroecosystem Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #396272

Research Project: Management of Stable Flies to Improve Livestock Production

Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: A push-pull strategy to suppress stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) attacks on pasture cattle using a coconut oil fatty acid repellent and attractant lures

item LEHMANN, ALEX - University Of Nebraska
item BREWER, GARY - University Of Nebraska
item BOXLER, DAVID - University Of Nebraska
item Zhu, Junwei - Jerry
item HANFORD, KATHRYN - University Of Nebraska
item Taylor, David
item Kenar, James - Jim
item Cermak, Steven - Steve
item Hogsette, Jerome - Jerry

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/23/2023
Publication Date: 3/26/2023
Citation: Lehmann, A., Brewer, G., Boxler, D.D., Zhu, J.J., Hanford, K., Taylor, D.B., Kenar, J.A., Cermak, S.C., Hogsette, Jr, J.A. 2023. A push-pull strategy to suppress stable fly (Diptera: Muscidae) attacks on pasture cattle using a coconut oil fatty acid repellent and attractant lures. Pest Management Science. 79(9):3050-3057.

Interpretive Summary: Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans L.) are important pests of pastured cattle and stress induced by their biting reduces productivity and causes economic loss.3 The economic impact of stable flies in the United States is estimated to be 2.66 billion USD per year. For cattle in pasture systems, insecticide use is the most convenient, effective, and viable option for stable fly control to date. While insecticides with different modes of action are registered for stable flies in the United States, on-animal application products are mostly pyrethroids categorized as Insecticide Resistance Action Committee group 1, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. The over-dependence on group 1 insecticides to manage blood feeding stable flies on cattle increases the risk of pyrethroid resistance development in stable flies. Pyrethroid resistant stable flies have been reported from various locations in the United States and Brazil. The present paper presented the first field trial using a starch-pectin coconut fatty acid formulation on pasture cattle to drive the biting flies away from the host animals, in the meantime lured them into an attractant baited trapping system. The results showed it reduced stable fly attack significantly, which was equal to or better than the traditional pesticide application (permethrin).

Technical Abstract: In our field trials of a novel aqueous starch-coconut fatty acid-based repellent, we found that the repellent effectively reduced stable fly populations on cattle as well as a standard insecticide (permethrin) when used within a push-pull strategy or as a standalone product. We also found the efficacy period of the repellent and permethrin following on-animal application were equivalent. Traps with an attractant lure used as the pull component of the push-pull strategy captured numbers of stable flies and may have reduced on-animal numbers by 15 to 30%. This is the first proof of concept field trial to demonstrate the effectiveness of a push-pull strategy using a fatty acid repellent and traps with an attractant lure to manage stable flies in pastures.