Entomology, Department of


Date of this Version



Insect Science (2021) 0, 1–10, DOI 10.1111/1744-7917.12952


© 2021 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA


Stable flies are one of the most important arthropod pests of livestock that reduce cattle weight gain and milk production leading to annual economic losses in excess of $2 billion to the US cattle industry. The host-seeking behavior is primarily mediated by associated odors from stable fly larval development environments and host animals. The present paper reports the development and evaluation of attractant-impregnated adhesive tapes to reduce stable fly attacks on cattle. Laboratory bioassays showed that only m-cresol impregnated adhesive tapes caught significantly more stable flies (16 ± 1) than the control tape without attractant added (7 ± 1), with a 77% fly recapture rate. Attractantimpregnated adhesive tapes deployed in cattle feedlots showed significant impacts in reducing fly population, with a total of one million stable flies captured over a period of three weeks (mean catches from 57 596 to 102 088 stable flies per trap per week). It further relieved cattle stress with a significant reduction of biting fly avoidance behavior, (6 ± 0.4 cows observed with tail wagging in control vs. 3 ± 0.4 from the trap-deployed). The efficacy of the developed tapes lasted up to 1-week longevity, although 70% of mcresol was released starting from the second day. The m-cresol impregnated adhesive tape provided an 80% reduction in cattle stress due to stable fly attack. This is the first report of a technology developed by integrating an attractant compound into an adhesive material on a plastic film with demonstrated effectiveness in trapping biting flies that attack livestock animals.

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