Sunday, November 3, 2019

Zebra Cows Have Less Fly Bites


Japanese scientists have discovered painting a cow to look like a zebra reduces fly bites by 50%! This could become an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides. 


The study, published in the journal Plos One, found that the disguise significantly reduces fly attacks.  The scientists believe the striped pattern confuses the fly's motion detection, thereby detering the pests.  It took about five minutes to paint 4 cm to 5 cm stripes on the Japanese black cows using commercial waterborne white lacquers that fade easily. For the study two cows were painted with white stripes, two with black stripes, and two left unpainted for control purposes.  The process was repeated, over nine days, with each cow spending three days striped, painted, or unpainted.  Only 55 flies were seen on the zebra cows, compared with 111 on the black-painted cows, and 128 on the unpainted cows. 


Previous studies have shown that flies were less likely to land on horses wearing striped blankets but this was the first study with painted cows. The researchers want to confirm this link between stripes and less flies, in addition to finding a less labor intensive way to ensure the cows remain patterned and zebra-like. 


Well, I thought that was interesting!

10 comments:

Vireya said...

Maybe I need to wear zebra stripes all through summer rather than just staying inside to avoid those blood-sucking flies!

Jen L said...

I love this 😂

diamondc said...

Pamela: This is an amazing idea.

Catherine

White Rose said...

Hi Pamela ,hmm that is very interesting,clever people xx

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I read about that in my news feed. It's pretty interesting really. Wish they could come up with something like that to repel mosquitoes!
xx, Carol

Janie said...

Wow! Who would've guessed that?

kiwikid said...

Inter resting reading Pamela, great not to have to use chemicals.

Julie said...

Very interesting. I wonder if it's the same with biting insects on humans... perhaps I'll try wearing striped garments and see?

Jeanie said...

You're right -- it IS interesting. Just hope the paint doesn't add a different problem!

Leonore Winterer said...

I remember reading something about why zebras have their stripes, but didn't think to use it in this way. Sometimes, nature does it best!