Flies are the hallmark of warmer weather. They spread diseases by landing on food and they can also get trapped physically in our food or drinks and spread bacteria on consumption. If they are attracted to food, however, why do they come in to more contact with us?
根據日本科學家在《 Plos One》網站上發表的一項最新研究，這可能與我們的穿著有關。當一頭母牛塗有斑馬般的條紋時，蒼蠅的攻擊就會「大大減少」。科學家們認為，這種偽裝混淆了蒼蠅的運動檢測並阻止了害蟲。
It is maybe about what we wear, according to a recent study published by Japanese scientists in the journal Plos One. Fly attacks are “significantly reduced” when a cow is painted with zebra-like stripes. The scientists believe the disguise confuses the fly’s motion detection and deters pests.
The researcher painted white, 4 cm to 5 cm stripes on six pregnant Japanese black cows, using “commercial waterborne white lacquers” that faded easily.
The zebra-like bovines were then observed. Two of the cows were painted with white stripes, two with black stripes and two were left unpainted for a control. The process then repeated so, over nine days, each cow spent three days striped, painted black or unpainted.
Only 55 flies were observed on the zebra cows, compared with 111 on the black-painted cows and 128 on the control cows, the researcher said. Previous studies have also found that flies are less likely to land on horses wearing striped blankets and other objects painted with stripes.
The researchers now say more work is needed, both to confirm the link and to develop less labor-intensive ways of ensuring cows remain patterned and zebra-like. If so, it could ease one of the most persistent pest problems that face cattle. ●