Abundance of stable flies on heifers treated for control of horn flies with organophosphate impregnated ear tags

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Ear tags containing 40% organophosphate insecticides (diazinon or diazinon plus chlorpyrifos-ethyl) were applied to control Haematobia irritans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) in treated (TG01 and TG02) and untreated (UG01 and UG02) groups of Holstein heifers born in 2001 and 2002, respectively. Control and treated groups were assessed for the abundance of Stomoxys calcitrans (L.) (Diptera: Muscidae) from August 2001 to April 2002 and again from August 2002 to April 2003. The treatment had a high efficacy for control of horn flies (maximum median number per heifer of TG01 and TG02 = 5) but a low effect on the abundance of stable flies. The total numbers of S. calcitrans were 1251 (42.9% of the total) and 1668 (57.1%) for TG01 and UG01, and 1423 (48.8%) and 1494 (51.2%) in TG02 and UG02, respectively. No significant difference in stable fly burden was found in 55 of the 76 weeks evaluated. A unimodal peak of abundance in the spring was found during the first fly season, and a bimodal abundance, with peaks in the spring and autumn, during the second season. No strong associations between horn fly and stable fly burdens was found in individuals of the CG01 (correlation coefficient = 0.13, P > 0.05) or CG02 (correlation coefficient = 0.538, P < 0.05, determination coefficient = 0.289).

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