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silverwolf1

Fly control for pastures by Steve Mihok

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silverwolf1    202

Added to, and posted on Reddit by the_egoldstien:

I know some of you have companions who live outdoors much of the time and that means biting flies, or tabanids to be specific. Those living on farms or those living near wetlands will be even more affected and since it's that time of the year again, I thought I would post about my continued experience with a particular trap, commonly called the Nzi trap.

As a short history, these were developed to help trap tsetse flies for research and they have been found to be quite effective on the entire tabanid family of biting flies.

My own experience with these does not go back many years, but I've been using them and I find them to be very effective and over time, probably the most cost-effective control I've found.

Very few non-target insects make their way into the traps, making them have very little collateral damage to non-tabanids.

They exploit behaviors of tabanids, making them highly effective without needing baits or poisons.

A well made trap will last many years and works passively, only requiring the jar of dead flies to be emptied as it fills up (which can be surprisingly fast).

This paper describes a simple plywood trap. This is what I have the most experience with; if you follow the directions, especially in regard to the blue color, it will perform well.

Practical Information on making and using Nzi Traps for catching biting flies

Performance of the Nzi and other traps for biting flies in North America

The development of a multipurpose trap (the Nzi) for tsetse and other biting flies

Nzi Trap Fabric Overview

Nzi trap. A universal trap able to catch tsetse flies, tabanids, and Stomoxys, especially efficient for large size tabanids

If you go to ResearchGate.net and search for Nzi trap, you will find numerous papers on these.

That said, has anyone else had any experience with these, the greenie box traps, Manitoba traps, or other designs? I would greatly love to hear your opinions.

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ferritlove    16

Thanks for the links Silverwolf - fascinating reading.  I use "reusable" bait fly traps (look like plastic jars with an opening toward the top) - and they are just OK.  How has the nzi trap compared to baited type traps in your experience?

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silverwolf1    202

I haven't even used them, but I'm thinking about it. E_goldstien who used to be on ZF, posted this to reddit Zoophilia. He has used them, and posted on them in ZF when it was still up. I've invited him here, but I don't know if he'll show up.

sw

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egoldstein    37

Thanks for the links Silverwolf - fascinating reading.  I use "reusable" bait fly traps (look like plastic jars with an opening toward the top) - and they are just OK.  How has the nzi trap compared to baited type traps in your experience?

If the traps you are talking about are the kind that screw onto a mason jar, baited with vinegar, beer, scraps, etc then the difference is dramatic. I've found those traps to be good with Musca (house-fly family) but the tabanids (such as deer flies, horse flies, and stable flies) aren't really attracted to those traps much. Tabanids require a blood meal for reproduction and tend to be sight oriented and active hunters.

These traps exploit a couple of behaviors of the tabanid family, being attracted to warm things (the black surfaces), being highly attracted to a certain wavelength of blue (the blue portions), and exploits the fact that when they take off, it's always "up", which funnels them into a jar to desicate. The papers go into much of the details, but they're the most effective for catching biting flies I've ever encountered. Typically, by the time I've setup a new trap, 15-20 minutes, there's a dozen or more in it and there's enough attracted to it to be a nuissance which speeds assembly so I can escape. I check the traps weekly to empty the jars except in the height of their season when I check them a little more often as a full trap does reduce kills a bit. I use 24oz jars, so a few hundred a week per trap. That may not sound like much, but here at least it makes the difference from being intollerable and having many bites/wounds on the animals to them being an occasional annoyance that is easy to forget about.

Placement of the traps is important, they're sight hunters and if they can't easily see it fewer will be attracted to it. We place them at areas of the pasture that get mowed regularly and they perform significantly better than when obstructed. In one of the papers, Mihok mentions that he'd tried using plexigalss and shiny screen materials but found those reduced captures significantly, so it's important to consider the materials used.

 

Edited by egoldstein
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ferritlove    16

Thanks egoldstein!  I may give this a go - the only trick for me will be protecting the trap from goats.  I'm thinking some extra field-fence around it wouldn't stop the flies from seeing it. 

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egoldstein    37

Yeah, I keep them in fenced off areas or behind a couple of cattle panels, but donkeys do not appear to be as keen climbers as goats  :P

Edited by egoldstein

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