Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology

U.S. Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Research Service
Agricultural Research Service, Imported Fire Ant and Household Insects research unit
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Tracey L. Tam
Jerry Hogsette, Mentor

Relative Attractiveness of the Sonic Web and the Horse to Stomoxys calcitrans.
Objective:   The objective of this study was to see if a fly trap could be used to protect horses from stable flies by trapping the flies before they could take a blood meal from the horses.  The Sonic Web trap (Applica Consumer Products, Inc., Miami Lakes, Fla.) was used to trap the flies.  Horses were dusted with a colored fluorescent dust and either tethered to a post or released in a paddock.  Sonic Web traps were placed around the horses 12, 24, 48, or 94 feet away in four separate experiments.  If the flies caught on the traps were colored with fluorescent dust, this indicated that they had visited the horse before becoming trapped. Flies that were not marked with dust were captured before they contacted the horse.

The Sonic Web traps proved to be effective for trapping the stable flies during the experiments.  Only 10% of the total stable flies captured were marked, indicating that 90% of the stable flies were captured on the traps before they could feed on the horses.  Thus the traps provided a high degree of protection against stable flies without the use of pesticides.

Tracey worked primarily on her project to determine the ability of a trap to provide significant protection for horses against the biting stable fly, Stomoxys calcitrans L.  However, she also worked with Alyce Nejame on her project to evaluate the toxicity of pesticide-treated blue cloth against stable flies.
Tracey and the Sonic Web Trap with the superstructure in the open position. Tracey and the Sonic Web Trap with the superstructure in the open position.
Tracey applying colored fluorescent dust to a horse prior to starting a trial. Tracey applying colored fluorescent dust to a horse prior to starting a trial.

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