Biology and control of tabanids, stable flies and horn flies.

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Tabanids are among the most free-living adult flies which play a role as livestock pests. A single blood meal is used as a source of energy for egg production (100-1,000 eggs per meal), and females of certain species can oviposit before a blood meal is obtained (autogeny). Therefore, the maintenance of annual populations requires successful oviposition by only 2% of females. Wild animal blood sources are usually available to maintain annual tabanid populations. Larval habitats are also independent of domestic livestock. Thus, the use of repellents or partial repellents is the only effective chemical strategy to reduce the incidence of tabanids on livestock. Permanent traps (and possibly treated silhouette traps) can be employed to intercept flies. Selective grazing or confinement can also reduce the impact of tabanids. Stable fly adults are dependent on vertebrate blood for survival and reproduction, but the amount of time spent in contact with the host is relatively small. Stable fly larvae develop in manure, spilled feed and decaying vegetation. Management of larval habitats by sanitation is the key to stable fly control. Treatment of animals with residual insecticides can aid in control; thorough application to the lower body parts of livestock is important. Proper use of modified traps, using either treated targets or solar-powered electrocution grids, can be effective in reducing stable fly populations. Adult horn flies spend the major part of their time on the host, and the larvae are confined to bovid manure. Therefore, almost any form of topical insecticide application for livestock is effective against horn flies, in the absence of insecticide resistance. Treatments should be applied when economic benefit is possible; economic gains are associated with increased weaning weights and weight gains of yearling and growing cattle. Oral chemical treatments (insect growth regulators or insecticides) administered at appropriate rates via bolus, water, food or mineral mixtures can inhibit horn fly larval development. However, adult horn fly movement among cattle herds limits the use of larval control for horn fly population management. The augmentation of native parasites, predators and competitors has been attempted and even promoted for horn fly and stable fly control, but evidence for the success of such programmes is equivocal.

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Revue scientifique et technique (International Office of Epizootics)

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