Flies grounded by 'black cow'
By Eric Conn - The Daily Times
ACCOMAC ---- Every summer greenhead flies target beaches and coastal areas along the Eastern Shore. Because of their strong resistance to pesticides and their ability to fly against powerful winds, the insects are difficult to combat and even harder to escape.
For one man the solution to the greenhead fly problem isn't a pesticide or a chemical. Wayne Parks of Accomac has found relief in a strange form -- black cows.
That's the name of Parks' fly traps, which he's been building for years. He said friends and family nicknamed them "black cows" -- a reference to the black enamel paint on the outside of the traps.
Swarms of flies enter a funnel at the bottom of the trap -- looking for a tasty cow belly to bite -- and make their way through a series of screen wires. Once they've made it that far, Parks said, it's impossible for the flies to escape.
The plywood boxes are painted black, Parks said, because greenhead flies are attracted to dark objects. They're also drawn to the heat.
"The flies think the boxes are an animal, and the black paint generates heat. They fly up through a funnel and are trapped inside," Parks said.
His trap, which is an interpretation of one introduced by the University of Delaware nearly 35 years ago, catches greenhead flies by the thousands, he said.
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