Insect Light Traps (ILTs) can be Electric Fly Killers (EFKs), which electrocute insects or Electric Fly Catchers (EFCs), whose glueboards trap insects by adhesion.
ILTs attract insects by emitting UV-A light, to which filth flies are positively phototactic. Phototaxis is insect behaviour in which a stimulus either attracts or repels it.
UV-A light attracts houseflies, and other filth flies like flesh flies, blue bottle flies and green bottle flies.
Commercial ILTs rely on a UV-A light source to attract filth flies, which traps either electrocute (as in EFKs) or trap on a glued surface (as in EFCs).
Though traps to attract insects first became popular in the late nineteenth century, ILTs such as EFKs and EFCs are a relatively newer invention, with a US company launching the first commercial product in the late sixties of the twentieth century.
USA’s Gilbert Industries – the world’s first manufacturer of professional insect light traps: Don Gilbert of the American company Gilbert Industries pioneered ILTs through his invention of an escape-resistant ILT in 1967, as described in his company’s website’s history section, which is one of the earliest records of professional ILTs.
Before Don Gilbert launched what he called professional ILTs, those devices were used by scientists and farmers to attract and trap insects that responded positively to light. Don Gilbert is the pioneer who foresaw the potential for ILTs in businesses for indoor housefly control. He called his devices professional ILTs, to denote that his inventions were suitable for the professional pest control industry.
Before Don Gilbert’s products, ILTs were popular primarily as outdoor insect control devices. Don Gilbert introduced ILTs for indoor use and saw their potential benefits inside food factories and pharmaceutical units.
In 1972, Don Gilbert patented a glueboard ILT that would control insects by trapping them on a sticky surface, unlike his earlier ILT versions which electrocuted insects after attracting them with UV-A light.
PCI – the Indian pioneer in ILTs: India’s pioneering pest control company, Pest Control (India) Pvt. Ltd. (PCI), was the first Indian company to introduce an ILT in India in 1979. PCI launched the Pest-O-Flash EFK, which killed insects by electrocution on a high-voltage grid and, even nearly half a century later, is still a popular Indian ILT brand.
There was relatively less innovation in ILTs in India for the next two decades, with EFCs appearing in the market only this century. Around the beginning of the twenty-first century, in 2001, PCI launched Spider EFC, India’s first electric fly catcher, and it had glueboards to trap insects attracted to the trap’s UV light. Like its predecessor, Pest-O-Flash, Spider was a popular brand, and it is still commonly seen across businesses in India to trap filth flies.
The advent of UV LEDs in ILTs: Like residential and commercial lighting sources, ILTs depended on fluorescent tubes until the past decade. However, fluorescent tubes generate mercury waste and contain glass, a hazard that makes them unsuitable for the food and pharmaceutical industries.
To overcome glass contamination from their ILT tubes, fluorescent tube manufacturers sold shatterproof tubes inside plastic sleeves to contain glass shards in case of tube breakage. However, the glass sleeves reduce UV output from the fluorescent tubes and affect trap fly-catching efficacy. Further, the high cost of plastic-sleeved UV fluorescent tubes now makes it a high recurring cost, one of the reasons for the shift of ILT customers from UV fluorescent tube traps to UV LED traps.
Several global manufacturers of ILTs foresaw the need for LEDs as a UV source to replace the UV fluorescent tubes in their traps. As a result, in the past decade, several manufacturers have introduced UV LED ILTs with varying degrees of product success.
Giridhar Pai Associates LLP (GPAL) represents one of the few global UV LED ILT manufacturers, Pestroniks Innovations Pte. Ltd. of Singapore (Pestroniks Innovations). Armed with a bio-Visual Enhancer (bio-VE+) technology patent, Pestroniks Innovations introduced the FLYght UV LED ILT range in 2020.
The FLYght One and FLYght Duo traps use eight LEDs that last fifty-thousand hours and generate the same UV output throughout their lives. As a result, they consume just twenty per cent of the electricity of conventional (fluorescent tube) ILTs. In addition, FLYght One and FLYght Duo are compact as they have only a power supply unit as their part in addition to UV LEDs.
GPAL commercially launched the FLYght One UV LED ILT in India in 2020 and followed it up a year later with the FLYght Duo. Pestroniks Innovations proudly “Make In India” their entire FLYght range and export it worldwide.
At GPAL are proud to be associated with Pestroniks Innovations, a world-leading brand that manufactures high-quality, high-performance products in India.
In the past two years, many Indian businesses have switched to the FLYght UV LED ILT range. Their reasons for the purchase include product looks, sustainability concerns, improved product performance and low or no maintenance.
After comparing the performance of the FLYght range, Indian customers have favoured it as the other UV LED ILTs have design flaws that prevent them from effectively attracting filth flies. Pestroniks Innovations’ researchers, with their vast experience, had foreseen the challenges of using UV LEDs in ILTs and designed FLYght traps to maximise the attraction of filth flies.
Further, right from the first product, FLYght One, to the second in the series, the FLYght Duo, Pestroniks Innovations ILT range incorporates very high power savings of 72% over 30 W fluorescent tube ILTs and 80% over 45W fluorescent tube ILTs. Some other UV LED manufacturers use many UV LEDs in their ILTs, making such traps consume as much electricity as conventional fluorescent tube ILTs and negating the switch from fluorescent to LEDs for a UV light source.
We feel that customers primarily switch to UV LED ILTs to save power costs, and if such traps do not help achieve such an objective, customers will not switch to UV LED ILTs.
We sell FLYght ILTs through the pest control industry, with pest control operators as resellers. However, we know the market for ILTs in India is several lakhs. Therefore, we are still exploring the opportunities in multiple segments looking for great filth fly management solutions.
We are always looking for distributors to market our products across India and request you to contact us if you are interested in marketing the FLYght UV LED ILTs and other GPAL products.
In honour of our first product, we named our website’s first version after it: www.flyght.in.