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Evaluation of Surveillance Methods for Monitoring House Fly Abundance and Activity on Large Commercial Dairy Operations

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Relative house fly, Musca domestica L., activity at three large dairies in central California was monitored during the peak fly activity period from June to August 2005 by using spot cards, fly tapes, bait traps, and Alsynite traps. Counts for all monitoring methods were significantly related at two of three dairies; with spot card counts significantly related to fly tape counts recorded the same week, and both spot card counts and fly tape counts significantly related to bait trap counts 1‐2 wk later. Mean fly counts differed significantly between dairies, but a significant interaction between dairies sampled and monitoring methods used demonstrates that between-dairy comparisons are unwise. Estimate precision was determined by the coefficient of variability (CV) (or SE/mean). Using a CV = 0.15 as a desired level of estimate precision and assuming an integrate pest management (IPM) action threshold near the peak house fly activity measured by each monitoring method, house fly monitoring at a large dairy would require 12 spot cards placed in midafternoon shaded fly resting sites near cattle or seven bait traps placed in open areas near cattle. Software (FlySpotter; http://ucanr.org/sites/FlySpotter/download/) using computer vision technology was developed to count fly spots on a scanned image of a spot card to dramatically reduce time invested in monitoring house flies. Counts provided by the FlySpotter software were highly correlated to visual counts. The use of spot cards for monitoring house flies is recommended for dairy IPM programs.

Keywords: IPM; dairy; house fly; monitoring; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1603/EC10393

Publication date: June 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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