Test results for the horse fly H trap
Bring the battle to the horse flies
If you've ever been bitten by a horse fly, then you will know just how painful it is. Your horse feels this pain just as much. A horse fly bite is already bad enough, but the consequences can be even more problematic: There is the additional danger of the horse becoming distressed and injuring itself by galloping around or attempting to break out. This is not only a danger to your horse, but also a danger to you as the owner. Fortunately, there is a solution: The H trap horse fly trap drastically reduces the number of persistent pests and alleviates the problems.
"Horse fly" is the most common term for the tabanidae family of insects. The blood sucking horse fly is known by several names across the English speaking world including gadfly, dunfly, deer fly, buffalo fly and moose fly.
The problem with horse flies
Horse flies are between 2 cm to 3 cm in length with usually transparent or colourful wings and bright compound eyes. Fully grown horse flies get their food from nectar and sometimes pollen. The female of most species are the blood suckers. Without blood they cannot reproduce. Male horse flies do not have the required mandibles that the female uses in order to suck blood. As soon as the fly has landed on a host (person or animal), it uses its razor-sharp mandibles to tear into the skin and feast on the blood that drips out. The blood loss is not huge. 20 to 30 flies can consume up to 100 ml of blood in the space of 6 hours – and any blood that has come out that they leave behind then attracts more flies. If a horse is bitten repeatedly, then the blood loss can weaken the animal.
These horse fly bites are very painful and make the area extremely itchy. They leave behind a bite mark and swelling, often with a drop of blood. Every bite triggers skin irritation and pain – the swelling can last up to a day or more. Even if a horse is not bitten very often, a bite creates negative memories. The older the animal gets, the more it fears encountering horse flies and becomes agitated when they come nearby or receive a bite from them. It is for this reason that there is a risk of accidents. Horse flies are not easy to scare off and are very determined. They will continue to attack until they are successful. Some even appear to chase their chosen victim. Infections are a dangerous side-effect that can occur when a horse scratches at a bite wound. Horse flies are also known to carry pathogens, which they transmit into the blood. Diseases affect both horses and humans. The EIA virus is of particular concern (equine infectious anemia virus). Horse flies are further known for spreading anthrax amongst cattle and sheep and acting as a disease carrier of tularemia between hares and humans.
Horse fly bites are a problem in the summer
Horse flies are most active in hot weather, particularly during daylight hours in the summer and autumn. Most species favour damp environments which facilitate breeding. They usually lay their eggs on stones near to water or on plant stalks and leaves. When they hatch, the maggots or larvae fall into the water or onto damp ground and feed on other invertebrates, such as snails and earthworms, or even on small vertebrates.
The female horse fly is active during the day. She makes a stealthy attack, landing unnoticed and getting away again before her victim even notices the first pain. Females are attracted by large, dark, shining objects, movement, particular animal smells, carbon dioxide and heat – a horse or an animal is therefore an ideal target.
Horse owners rely on a varied range of physical and chemical means of fighting horse flies. Some cover their animals in special horse blankets or fabrics, for example. However, anyone who's had a bit through their clothing will know how little protection these methods provide. Another option is to have the horse graze on a meadow that is far enough away from the damp breeding grounds of the horse fly. It is also possible to only let the horse out at night. Both of the solutions are rather impractical, however. Chemical insect sprays – usually permethrin-based – are additional methods for fighting horse flies. The flies, however, have an unerring instinct for finding parts of the body that have not been sprayed, such as the underbelly, legs, throat and withers. The ideal solution would be to eliminate the horse flies.
Horse fly traps
A product that fights and eliminates horse flies and other flying insects has been available to buy in the USA for several years. Horse Pal. This trap works by attracting the female horse fly with large, dark, shining objects. Once the horse fly has been attracted, a funnel guides them into a catch container inside the trap.
The new Alcochem Hygiene H trap horse fly trap has also been designed to take advantage of the behaviour of the horse flies. The design has been further developed and improved through research and the use of modern materials. This has increased the robustness and particularly the efficiency of the new H trap.
The professional H trap horse flytrap has been designed for use outdoors. As with previous models, it recreates the form of the ideal prey for the biting female horse flies. It is composed of a unique metal frame that stands on one leg with a large, inflatable, black rubber ball and a green plastic canopy. When the black rubber ball is warmed by the sun, the horse fly confuses it with a large animal and is attracted to land on it. As soon as the fly lands on the ball, it tries bite into it to suck blood. When they fail to extract any blood they fly off upwards (following their natural flight path). They are then caught in the funnel and guided into the central, easy-to-empty, catch container.
For best results, the H trap horse fly trap should set up before the first flies appear in April or May and in areas where there are several horses, e.g. in the stable yard and in the paddock. A single trap is sufficient to protect up to five horses. A trap that has been set up should be checked once a week to empty the catch container of the horse flies. The trap should be taken down at the end of the horse fly season and carefully stored for use again next season.
About the H trap horse fly trap
The H trap horse fly trap is designed and developed by Alcochem Hygiene, a Dutch company based in the heart of Holland. Since it's launch in 2008, the H trap has been successfully introduced in most northern and central European countries.
The products are so popular and their effectiveness so well known that the organisers of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014, held in France, ordered the installation of 31 H traps. Protecting horses and riders was of utmost important to them.
Despite initial reservations, horse owners that have used the product appear impressed. One owner from the south of England summarised her experience: "We've already tried everything available means and methods on the market and finally decided to buy the horse fly trap out of desperation. This large, black ball with a metal frame, canopy and plastic trap was promptly delivered. We immediately put it up in the paddock in the area where the horse flies seem to come from. Within minutes the trap had started catching flies and has consistently done so since then. The number of horse flies has reduced so much that we no longer need to use a protective blanket and I can comfortably train the horses on the meadow. My only regret is having not bought this horse fly trap sooner."
Field testing in Florida
Alcochem Hygiene has recently begun to market and sell the H trap horse fly trap in the USA. In order to ensure that customers could see the potential of the products and the results it produces, a field test was organised. Two tests were conducted in 2014. Both took place in northern Florida and involved a series of experiments in which a comparison was made with the currently available trap (Horse Pal). The H trap was tested as an integral element throughout the course of a normal day with horses on the ranch.
Participants in the test were Katherine Dunlop and Greg McCandless, a married couple who are proud of their Tennesesee Walking Horses and Missouri Fox Trotters, and also run a livery stable for horses in Cedar Key, Levy County, Florida. Looking after other peoples horses is something different from their own - as a commercial business, it is essential that the horses they look after do not get injured. This means that attacks from horse flies must be prevented. After putting up the H trap in the paddock, Greg McCandless had the following to say: "There are a couple of reasons why this trap is better than other models we've tried: Firstly, it's robust. This is important because we often have afternoon storms where the wind can get really strong. The H trap horse fly trap is designed in such a way that it moves with the wind as the funnel is wind-resistant. Furthermore, the trap has a galavanised steel pipe frame. 2 mm walls hold the frame firmly together."
"Secondly, the trap container that collects the horse flies and other insects is easy to remove. It is simple to clean, doesn't fall out of the steel frame and sways in the wind. There's no need to worry about the trap tipping over onto the container and damaging it. It simply can't happen. This is best and most robust trap we've ever had! The best thing about it is that it reliably attracts the horse flies that are annoying and dangerous to the horses."
"Thirdly and lastly, the H trap horse fly trap is very effective and a simply won't tip over and getting damaged. It really does catch the flies!"
Test the H trap horse fly trap and see the results for yourself!
As with any good invention for pest control, studying the biological behaviour of each of the pests is essential. And this is exactly what the developers of the H trap horse fly trap have done. By imitating the natural behaviour of the flies and making use of the most up-to-date materials, they have developed an effective trap that works entirely without chemicals and is suitable for horse owners around the world. Try it for yourself!