Counting flies to ensure effective fly control

The counting of captured flies is a key part of proving the efficacy of fly killers

It appears that counting flies fulfills a very important purpose. In fact, this meticulous counting of captured flies by a team of dedicated scientists is a key part of Rentokil’s methodology to prove the efficacy of fly killers.

Since 2008, Rentokil’s Global Technical Centre has dedicated two purpose-built rooms to testing fly killers. Units are compared using a standard performance test called the Half-Life measure.

All of Rentokil’s fly killers have been subjected to the same rigorous testing ever since, including the new Lumnia fly killer range.

Whilst tolerance to flies varies depending on the location, environment, or industry type, it is clear that once present, the need to get rid of flies is great, no matter the situation.

Fly killer testing

When it comes to flies, what do people really care about? Usually, it’s how quickly Rentokil can get rid of flies.

Removing the fly from the environment as quickly as possible should be a critical measure of the efficacy of a fly killer unit.

The quicker flies are caught, the lower the risk of diseases spread by flies, like Shigellosis or E. coli, and the damage to brand reputation.

Rentokil’s Half-Life measure

The standard Half-Life measure test tells customers how long, on average, a fly will remain in an area before it is captured by the fly killer unit.

The Rentokil test is based on releasing 100 house flies (Musca domestica) in a standard test room with the product/ unit installed, and counting the number of flies captured at regular intervals over a seven-hour period.

This process is repeated at least six times to ensure a fair reflection of performance over time.

While this information can be presented as a graph, it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons between multiple units, so Rentokil developed the concept of the Half-Life measure.

The Half-Life measure represents the time taken to eliminate 50% of the flies released in the test chamber.

What customers need to know: the lower the Half-Life measure, the more effective the fly killer unit.

Crucially, the test allows customers to directly compare fly killers against each other.

All this testing ensures that Rentokil is able to deliver the most superior fly killer to customers.


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3rd November 2020
Kathryn Birett
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