As the pioneers of UV LED electric flycatchers in India, we keenly study businesses’ use of electric flycatchers (EFCs). We estimate that customers buy nearly 25,000 electric flycatchers each year in India. But, sadly, users’ installation and maintenance of electric flycatchers make them ineffective fly management tools.
Effective fly management combines multiple approaches, including prevention by better hygiene, using screens and other devices to prevent housefly entry indoors, monitoring by electric flycatchers, and using pesticides against housefly larvae and adults.
The sole use of electric flycatchers won’t solve housefly problems, and businesses must focus on integrated fly management through the steps we listed above to prevent houseflies inside their premises.
Electric flycatchers are just one tool in housefly management. They primarily indicate the infestation level apart from the source to identify the different flying insect species in their surroundings.
As few flycatcher manufacturers try to educate their customers, not correctly installing and using electric flycatchers across businesses negates the purpose of electric flycatchers, i.e. monitoring. Incorrectly installed and poorly maintained electric flycatchers cannot serve any purpose.
We list below the most common mistakes we have found in flycatcher use in India during our visits to hundreds of businesses nationwide.
1. Objects blocking the light of the flycatcher: Placing an object in front of the flycatcher blocks the UV rays from it and prevents it from attracting houseflies and other filth flies to the trap. The flycatcher must be visible and not have any obstructions around it that block its light from being seen by houseflies at a distance from it.
2. Installing electric flycatchers too high above the ground: One of the most common mistakes in flycatcher installation is placing the trap very high where it won’t attract or trap houseflies and is difficult to maintain. Houseflies are active about five feet above the ground though they may also be at floor level and higher than five feet. Therefore, a flycatcher must be installed five feet above the floor on a wall to maximise its attraction and ensure effective housefly trapping.
3. Placing electric flycatchers on the floor: Some users who find ground-crawling houseflies decide to place electric flycatchers on the ground, assuming it to be the best position for those devices. Unfortunately, though floor-placed fly catchers attract and trap houseflies, they will fail to attract all houseflies around them. Further, floor-placed electric flycatchers are prone to disturbance and damage by foot or other traffic.
4. Not replacing the electric flycatcher’s glueboards periodically: Electric flycatchers function by attracting houseflies to UV light and trapping them on a glueboard. Glueboards inside electric flycatchers become filled with houseflies and insects, with the period for glueboard replacement varying by location and season. We recommend a replacement of the glueboard once monthly, at least, or when the glueboard is full of trapped insects. Glueboards full of dead insects will attract parasites that feed on insects and won’t trap any insects as the glue surface is full of trapped insects.
5. Not replacing the flycatcher light source after expiry: The manufacturers of the UV fluorescent tubes specify a life for their light source, with most such tubes lasting about eight thousand hours or ten months. UV fluorescent tubes stop emitting UV after expiry and no longer attract houseflies. It is a good practice to note the date of replacement of a UV fluorescent tube and the next replacement date on it. In the case of FLYght UV LED electric flycatchers with LEDs that last 50,000 hours, there is no replacement date as the light sources last more than five years without replacement.
6. Placing electric flycatchers at the wrong location: A flycatcher must not attract houseflies from the outdoors. Hence, a common guideline for flycatcher installation is placing them perpendicular to an entrance about twenty-five feet away. Electric flycatchers don’t work in areas of very low or very high temperatures. Also, wet areas are not suitable for flycatcher placement. Outdoor fly catcher use is also a wrong practice as they won’t work in daylight and at night will attract a lot of night flying insects like moths and chironomids to the trap.
7. Using electric flycatchers as a control tool: Electric flycatchers are not a control tool as they do not trap every housefly or filth fly in a space. However, flycatcher glueboards are a good indicator of the fly pressure inside a building and supplement fly prevention and control measures.
8. Placing the flycatcher too close to light sources: Electric flycatchers are less ineffective when there are other light sources near them, as such objects could attract houseflies away from the electric flycatchers. Therefore, there must not be other competing light sources near a flycatcher for it to attract houseflies.
9. Using electric flycatchers in places with excessive dust: Electric flycatchers rely on glueboards to trap houseflies and other filth flies they attract by UV light. However, dust and debris surrounding a flycatcher can make the device ineffective as the glueboard would not trap the insects that the UV light attracts to the flycatcher.
10. Not consistently using the flycatcher: Electric flycatchers are effective when they are present and switched on during day time when houseflies are active. Some spaces like food factories, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, kitchens and others prone to housefly infestation must have sufficient electric flycatchers to monitor housefly levels. Unless electric flycatchers are present year-round and switched on during the day, fly management would be ineffective due to the limited flycatcher availability.
Earlier, we published a blog, The FLYght Guide to Insect Light Trap (ILT) Use, on our website listing the dos and Don’ts of ILT use. You can refer to that blog post for simple tips on using fly catchers effectively to manage houseflies at your facility.
Our flycatcher range of UV LED electric flycatchers, FLYght One and FLYght Duo, have in-built features to minimise their maintenance. As they have UV LEDs that last 50,000 hours, our customers can use both FLYght One and Duo for more than five years without replacing the UV LEDs.
We launched the FLYght UV LED flycatcher range in India in 2020. Since then, hundreds of Indian businesses have switched from UV fluorescent tube electric flycatchers to FLYght One or FLYght Duo UV LED electric flycatchers.
Contact us to get our guidance on electric flycatchers for your business.