U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Pest Manag Sci (2016), DOI 10.1002/ps.4207.


U. S. government work.


BACKGROUND: Stable flies are considered to be one of the major blood-feeding pests in the US livestock industry, causing losses running into billions of dollars annually. Adult stable flies are highly attracted to Alsynite traps; however, Alsynite is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and is expensive.

RESULTS: Here, we report on the development of a less expensive and more efficacious trap based upon a white panel with the option to add visual and olfactory stimuli for enhanced stable fly trapping. White panel traps caught twice as many stable flies than Alsynite traps. Baiting the traps with synthetic manure volatiles increased catches 2–3-fold. Electroretinographic recordings of stable flies showed strong peaks of visual sensitivities occurring at 330–360 nm, 460–525 nm and 605–635 nm. A laboratory study indicated that young stable flies are more responsive to white,whereas gravid females prefer blue; in the field, white traps caught more stable flies than patterned or blue-black traps.

CONCLUSION: Stable fly control can be enhanced by developing more efficient trapping systems with added visual and olfactory stimuli.