First, houseflies might be using the lights as a source of safety. In addition, once a single fly roams around a light source, other houseflies might also follow. In particular, flies are attracted to light sources that emit wavelengths within the UV-A range (315 to 400 nanometres).
Scientists and product engineers have actually utilised that knowledge to develop effective light traps for capturing flies. Many of those light traps have clear specifications that they emit wavelengths within the UV-A range. This wavelength range appeals to flies thereby maximising the number of those flying insects that gets captured.
Why UV-A range?
The solar spectrum (the range of electromagnetic energy from the sun that reaches Earth) includes ultraviolet, visible and the infrared. Just like most creatures including us humans, we have adapted and relied on that spectrum to navigate through the environment and aid us in our survival.
It’s the same case with houseflies. In particular, they have evolved and adapted with respect to the UV-A range. Their complex eyes have evolved to see UV-A range as safe and probably even vital to their survival.
That’s why when they approach a light source emitting within the UV-A range, they perceive it as safe and non-threatening (whether the light source is a trap or not). As a result, more flies will be attracted and captured. The results even get better if the light trap stimulates the landing behaviour of flying insects. This is possible through a unique attraction grid that somehow emulates how flies navigate through tropical forests.
Different environments require different solutions
The attraction and capture mechanism almost stays the same in different light traps. UV-A range is utilised and usually a glueboard is used to capture the flies.
However, some environments have harsh settings (e.g. high humidity levels and temperatures). It’s especially the case in industrial environments where there are risks of explosions. These require different solutions as opposed to ordinary commercial settings such as shops and offices.
Vectothor solutions for every environment
That’s why here at Vectothor, we have developed specific solutions for different environments. We have specialised light traps designed for offices, restaurant kitchens and industrial settings. You can contact us today and we’ll provide you with excellent recommendations appropriate for your location.