Partner Sought To Commercialize Patented Fly Trap
March 1, 2007
An improved trap invented by
Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
scientists could soon help prevent flies from getting into foodstuffs. Called
"Flybrella" because of its resemblance to an upside-down umbrella,
this low-profile pest control technology was awarded a patent in 2005. Now its
inventors are seeking a licensing partner to commercialize the invention.
The trap was designed by entomologist
Hogsette and recently retired chemist David Carlson in the
Mosquito and Fly Research Unit, part of the agency's
for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology at Gainesville, Fla.
The trap attracts, kills and retains the bodies of house flies and other flying
Flybrella is especially promising as an alternative means of fly control in
areas where food products are prepared or stored, since it can replace chemical
pest-control methods in these sensitive areas. In controlled laboratory
studies, two Flybrellas captured about 98 percent of released flies.
Flybrella is small and lightweight, suitable for hanging on overhead water
and power lines where flies tend to rest in industrial kitchens and bakeries.
About six feet above the floor seems to be the best height for placing the
traps. Flybrella relies on a commercially available natural attractant combined
with a toxin to lure hungry flies to their doom. In less than 15 seconds, they
are killed by the toxic bait emanating from a perforated tube and then fall
into a dome-shaped plastic container at the base of the trap. The bait and
toxicant remain effective for about three months.
The trap could be used in supermarkets, restaurants and other establishments
where large quantities of food are held. According to Hogsette, Flybrella
answers a special need in commercial settings to discreetly attract, kill and
collect flies that could be a potential health hazard or a turnoff to
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's principle scientific research agency.