The attractiveness of inflated beach balls covered with adhesive and used as decoys to trap adult stable flies was investigated on Florida panhandle beaches. Decoys were painted either solid black, solid white, or a mixed pattern that consisted of three equally spaced white circles (20 cm diameter) on a solid black background. Another set of decoys (referred to as plain) were unpainted and retained the manufacturer’s original color scheme. The plain decoy consisted of a separate blue, yellow, and red diamond-shaped panel. Each color panel was separated by a white panel of similar size and orientation. Plain decoys collected significantly (<0.05) more stable flies than other treatments but no significant difference was noted between colored panels. The mixed pattern decoy captured significantly fewer flies than the plain decoy but significantly more flies (nearly twice) when compared with solid white or black decoys. No difference in preference was observed when fly abundance on the black background was compared with that on white circles and total abundance from both areas appeared to be additive compared with either area alone. No significant differences were found in the number of flies trapped on solid white versus black decoys. When trapping efficiency was compared with Alsynite translucent fiberglass cylinders covered with adhesive-treated cellophane sheets, the decoy trap caught significantly more (>10 times) flies per square centimeter. Alsynite cylinders are considered standard tools when sampling fly populations. Adhesive-treated beach ball decoys may be an alternative method for luring stable flies away from human hosts in recreation areas, or from animals, thereby reducing biting annoyance from these pests.
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Vol. 39 • No. 1