Commercial Light Traps

Notice that most of the time when you’re trying to swat a fly you only end up missing and hitting the air. House files are often really persistent when it comes to pestering you while you’re right in the middle of food handling.

It may seem like you already did everything you could to implement fly control measures and get their numbers to zero in your food preparation areas. But still, you find them around, contaminating every surface they land on. We discuss what it is you should do in these circumstances.

Better sanitation is only the first step in reducing the numbers of houseflies, especially around food processing areas. They will have fewer breeding sites and food sources. Another initial step is by exclusion which is improving or installing additional barriers so flies won’t have an entry point to the home in the first place.

To go a step further, many workplaces and commercial facilities now have installed ongoing solutions against flies. These fly killer light traps attract insects by taking advantage of the fly’s biology. Flies are attracted to UV light (specifically UV-A light with spectrum of 300 to 420 nanometres). The flies come and the glue boards then capture them.

Why most insect light traps fail

The glue trap is crucial to capturing flies and preventing them from roaming around any further. After all, if a glue board trap is ineffective, flies will just escape and continue to fly around. That’s why many pest control insect traps now are temperature-optimised. These ensure total entrapment of the flying insects, even in tropical temperatures.

However, this is not enough to capture more flies more quickly. The number of flies that get captured is heavily dependent on the “attraction effectiveness” of the fly light traps. If more flies are being attracted by the light, what follows is more flies will be captured. However, this is not always the case as you’ll discover if you buy a high voltage handheld fly zapper.

Flies have been evolving for 250 million years ago (earlier than mammals which is only 200 million years ago). Through those millions of years, flies have become excellent at recognising and evading moving threats. What helps their survival further is that they reproduce really fast (a fly can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime) which makes it hard to completely destroy their colonies.

Flies are excellent in avoiding threats – you can readily notice that when you try to swat a fly. With the fly’s advanced eye structure and amazing aerial agility (2 wings plus two small paddles for better manoeuvring), physical attacks just won’t work.

Time passes more slowly for flies

What seems fast to a human is in fact in slow motion to the eyes of the flies. Time passes more slowly for these creatures, which is why no matter how you swat them, they can easily evade your attack.

As mentioned earlier, one possible reason is that they have extreme aerial agility. But what’s more impressive is due to their small scale, time passes more slowly to them. What seems really fast to us humans may seem really slow to other creatures, particularly flies.

In addition, we humans see the world as a continuous video. But the truth is we’re only seeing images and then we piece them together subconsciously using our brain. Our brains can receive and process an average of 60 flashes per second. Within that number things look like a continuous video to us.

But that’s entirely different for flies. House flies and fruit flies can receive and process an average of 250 flashes per second (more than 4x our capabilities). This impressive feature coupled with excellent reaction time and aerial agility makes flies awesome in recognising motion and evading threats.

For example, a light source that emits lower than 250 flashes per second will look like mere flickers to flies. In other words, the light source becomes on and off when flies look at it. If this is the case, flies will see it as unnatural and will tend to avoid the light.

Here’s the solution

As we better understand the flying pests’ biology, we can then formulate ways and technologies to better capture them. For instance, scientists discovered that flies are particularly attracted to UV light (which is emitted by the sun). Through millions of years, flies navigate places with the sun as their main light source. After all, the eyes of the flies are particularly sensitive to that wavelength (especially 300 to 420 nm).

But as you’ve realised, that particular method is not always enough. We also have to consider the nature of the light source. Earlier we’ve discussed how a light source becomes a series of flickers in the eyes of flies instead of a constant beam of light. That’s why the solution then is to have a light source that emits UV-A light and at the same time does this in higher frequencies or cycles.

Most other UV light traps only operate at 50 cycles per second. In other words, the light source is flashing on and off 50 times per second. Remember earlier that human brains can receive and process an average of 60 flashes per second (which is quite near to the performance of most other UV light traps). For us humans it’s a constant beam of light but flies see this as flashes and flickers.

The most effective light traps then are the ones that have much higher cycles per second. For instance, the Vectothor Flying Insect Killer Light Traps operate at 10,000 cycles per second (way beyond that of human or insect capabilities). As a result, flies see the light source as a constant beam of light. It looks more natural and hence the fly light trap becomes more effective in attracting flying insects around.

Once we know how our sight works differently than of flies, we can then devise more effective solutions to attracting and capturing those flying insects in our professional fly traps. At Vectothor, we’ve come up with something much more effective than your standard bug zapper.

Why most flying insect killer light traps are not effective

The first rule about traps is they shouldn’t look like traps in the first place. For instance, if the light flickers it’s a clear sign for flies to stay away. But if the light performs at 10,000 cycles per second, it’s guaranteed for the light trap to work optimally.

For the best ongoing protection against flies, many business owners and managers worldwide contact us here at Vectothor. With our high performance (10,000 cycles per second, UV-A fly light traps, temperature-optimised glueboard) and cost-effective solutions (up to 9,000 hours of continuous use), your workplace or business will be better protected from the flying insects.