Technology Watch

1. Canopy trap for horse-fly control

The trap design is a slightly modified version of one described in an article published by R. C. Axtell, T. D. Edwards and J. C. Dukes in the Journal of The Georgia Entomological Society (Vol. 10, no. 1) in 1975.  The  trap can be modified somewhat depending on the type of materials available and the ingenuity of the builder so long as the dimensions  and  contrasting surfaces remain approximately the same.

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2. HORSE PAL® trap

Flies can see, and are attracted to, the critically developed HORSE PAL® target from a long distance. They fly to the target which is specifically designed to attract them. When the flies discover the target is not a blood meal, the trap is designed so that the flies enter the capture bottle, die from the heat of the sun on the bottle, and accumulate in the bottom of the capture bottle.

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3. EPPS trap

Many biting flies are attracted to large objects of contrasting color to the surroundings because such objects tend to be potential hosts like cattle, deer, and horses. Also, biting flies such as stable flies, horse flies, green heads, deer flies, bull flies, and yellow flies tend to circle the host before actually landing to bite. The EPPS Trap takes advantage of these behaviors by providing a large, contrasting surface area, with transparent areas (which are actually clear plastic deflectors) representing air space between an animal’s legs and over its back through which the flies would normally circle before feeding. Flies see the deflectors as open spaces and try to fly through them. They hit the deflectors and ricochet into the soapy water in the trays below. Dish soap is added to the water in the trays to cause the flies to be wetted and drown faster.

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4. H-trap

H-trapThe horse flies are 'tricked' into mistaking the centrally placed black ball in the H-trap as a large animal, such as your horse. They are attracted to the ball since it emits heat, exactly like the body of the horse. Once they are positioned on the black ball, they will investigate it and try to sting it. Since they will be unsuccessful it gaining their desired blood feed, they will follow their natural behaviour and fly away. The H-trap is designed to be placed outdoors, where it works without the need for chemicals or electricity.

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5. How to prepare your own horse-fly trap

Insect traps usually function by taking advantage of the insect's behavior. With horse flies, the behaviors exploited are their tendency to "home in" on objects they perceive as hosts, plus a natural inclination to fly or crawl upward (negative geotropism). An umbrella or "Manitoba-type" horse fly trap is easily constructed, but it may require several such traps to reduce biting rates.

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