Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Insect Science, (2020) 20(5): 16; 1–7

doi: 10.1093/jisesa/ieaa110


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


The horn fly, Haematobia irritans L. (Diptera: Muscidae), is a persistent pest of cattle globally. A threshold of 200 flies per animal is considered the standard management goal; however, determining when that threshold has been exceeded is difficult using visual estimates that tend to overestimate the actual fly densities and are, at best, subjective. As a result, a more reliable and durable method of determining horn fly densities is needed. Here, we describe the methods commonly used to quantify horn fly densities including visual estimates and digital photography, and provide examples of quantification software and the prospect for computer automation methods.

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