Entomology, Department of


First Advisor

Gary Brewer

Second Advisor

Junwei Zhu

Date of this Version

Winter 12-2-2021


Lehmann AT. 2021. Use of attractant and repellent semiochemicals to manage stable fly (Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)) populations on pastured cattle using a push-pull strategy. Master’s thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Ne.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Entomology, Under the Supervision of Professor Gary Brewer and Junwei Zhu. Lincoln, Nebraska: December 2021

Copyright © 2021 Alexander Thomas Lehmann


Stable flies (Diptera: Muscidae) are major economic pests of pastured cattle. Their feeding activity causes billions of dollars of damage to the cattle industry. This project investigated the management of stable flies on pastured cattle using a novel Push-Pull treatment in field trials. The repellent Push treatment, a hydrogenated coconut oil containing approximately 70% of C8, C10, and C12 fatty acids in a starch-pectin water formulation, was applied to the animals weekly. The Pull component was a stable fly trap augmented with an attractant (m-cresol). Permethrin and untreated controls were used as comparisons. Both permethrin and Push-Pull treatments reduced stable fly numbers on cattle compared with the control treatment. Traps used in pastures as part of the Push-Pull treatment captured large numbers of stable flies. However, the contribution of the traps to the observed reduction in stable fly infestation levels needs further investigation. This project also investigated the effects of altering visual and olfactory components of a stable fly trap on capture rates. This involved evaluating the effects of changing the trap appearance, lure size, and dose of m-cresol on stable fly capture rates. Trap appearance had no effect on fly capture; white traps captured the same number of flies as striped traps. Traps with lures, particularly larger sized lures, captured more flies. Our results demonstrate that m-cresol lures captured stable flies, but more investigation is needed. Our research suggests that the use of a Push-Pull treatment to manage stable flies may provide an alternative control method to the traditional pesticide application.

Advisors: Gary Brewer and Junwei Zhu

Included in

Entomology Commons