The stable fly is a type of filth fly, which means that they congregate on filthy materials like feces, rotting food, decaying animal carcasses or another form of decaying organic matter. Stable flies prefer to mate and lay eggs on livestock manure, making them problematic in agricultural settings and in residential neighborhoods located near farmland. Stable flies are pests of medical and veterinary significance, as numerous stable flies simultaneously feed on the blood of horses, cattle and other animals, sometimes resulting in fatal anemia. In addition to draining their blood, stable flies also transmit several diseases to animals. When their preferred livestock hosts are not available, stable flies readily bite humans and dogs in order to collect blood meals. Due to their scissor-like mouthparts, bites inflicted by stable flies are quite painful and may result in secondary infection.
Stable flies are synanthropic, which means that they exploit human activities and environments to promote their survival. Stable flies are abundant in rural areas where their preferred livestock hosts can be found, but unfortunately, stable flies are abundant in certain pockets along the Louisiana coast and other Gulf Coast states where they regularly attack humans. Coastal wind gusts push stable flies into additional urban and suburban areas located farther north from the Gulf Coast. Because of this, stable fly swarms have terrorized coastal communities in the southeast US.
Stable flies are very difficult to control, as they are not repelled by DEET-containing products, and they remain persistent in the face of constant swatting. Not long ago, however, researchers developed the first and only truly effective stable fly trap. After learning that stable flies prefer sheep and donkey dung more than any other type of animal excrement, the researchers synthesized odorous chemicals in these dung sources which they used as a lure in traps. Once these new and improved traps were put into the field, they yielded 400 percent more stable fly specimens than earlier traps.
Have you ever sustained a bite from a stable fly?
Tags: Stable Flies