Stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans L.) are bloodfeeding pests of cattle, whose populations are often monitored using sticky traps. Trap responses at different heights were compared with: 1) a choice and no-choice test, with sticky cards set at 30 and 121 cm heights (above ground), and 2) tall (120 cm) traps placed in short (3 cm) and tall (40 cm) grass to assess how vegetation height affects trap catches. In the first experiment, the percentage of upper to lower trap catches were similar at choice (16%) and no-choice traps (15%). In the vegetation study, stable fly catch height data were fitted to gamma distributions to determine the most productive trap heights; 20 cm above short grass and 24 cm above tall grass (from lower edge of trap). The results indicate that traps used to monitor stable fly populations should be maintained at a constant distance above surrounding vegetation rather than ground surface, otherwise trap data can be misleading.
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