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


Date of this Version



U.S. Government work


Journal of Economic Entomology, 112(1), 2019, 485–493 doi: 10.1093/jee/toy351


The house fly, Musca domestica L., is a globally distributed nuisance and disease-carrying urban and livestock pest. Control mostly relies on synthetic insecticides but resistance to them has become problematic. p-Anisaldehyde, a compound found in many edible plants, was assessed for its effects on different life stages of M. domestica. Whereas p-anisaldehyde, applied as an adult contact spray, caused >80% mortality by 30 min at a 30% concentration, egg mortality on treated substrate was complete at 0.1%, and the LC90 was 0.024%. Only 0.5 and 1 ml of 1.5% p-anisaldehyde mixed into 100 g of cow manure curtailed pupation. When the amount of p-anisaldehyde was increased to 2 ml, 0.75% p-anisaldehyde reduced pupation by 95.5%. In static air olfactometer tubes, 0.075% p-anisaldehyde repelled substantial numbers of adult M. domestica within 30 min. Repellency of 60–78% was maintained throughout the 4-h bioassay. This study demonstrates that p-anisaldehyde is strongly bioactive against M. domestica in terms of lethal and nonlethal effects.