Date of this Version
Insect Science (2021) 0, 1–10, DOI 10.1111/1744-7917.12952
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.