House flies, Musca domestica L., and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), (Diptera: Muscidae), common pests on equine facilities, were studied in the laboratory to determine the success and duration of larval development and oviposition preferences on six substrates commonly found on equine facilities. Substrates tested were hay soiled with urine and manure, fresh horse manure, pine shaving bedding soiled with urine and manure (<12 h old), pine shaving bedding soiled with urine and manure (aged >72 h in a manure pile), builders sand bedding soiled with urine and manure aged 3 d, and soil from an overgrazed pasture mixed with urine and manure of variable age. House fly larvae failed to develop into adults in hay, soil, and sand substrates. Stable flies preferred to oviposit on substrates with plant material and not on fresh manure. However, when eggs were added to the substrates, pupariation was maximal in fresh manure and the fresh pine shaving substrate. Stable flies developed in all six equine substrates, but development was less successful on the substrates with soil. In choice tests, fresh manure and the fresh pine shaving substrates were the most attractive for house fly oviposition. These substrates also yielded the greatest number of house fly puparia from artificially added eggs. An understanding of oviposition preferences and differential larval development of house flies and stable flies on these substrates may help develop options for reducing pest populations by effectively managing equine waste and selecting appropriate bedding materials.
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Vol. 51 • No. 6