Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Pest Manag Sci 2023. DOI 10.1002/ps.7480


Open access.


BACKGROUND: Stable flies [Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)] are economically important pests of cattle and other livestock. As an alternative to conventional insecticides, we tested a push–pull management strategy using a coconut oil fatty acid repellent formulation and an attractant-added stable fly trap.

RESULTS: In our field trials we found that weekly applications of a push–pull strategy can reduce stable fly populations on cattle as well as a standard insecticide (permethrin). We also found that the efficacy periods of the push–pull and permethrin treatments following on-animal application were equivalent. Traps with an attractant lure used as the pull component of the push–pull strategy captured sufficient numbers of stable flies to reduce on-animal numbers by an estimated 17–21%.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first proof-of-concept field trial demonstrating the effectiveness of a push–pull strategy using a coconut oil fatty acid-based repellent formulation and traps with an attractant lure to manage stable flies on pasture cattle. Also notable is that the push–pull strategy had an efficacy period equivalent to that of a standard, conventional insecticide under field conditions.

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