According to recent Japanese research, painting zebra stripes on livestock will lower the number of biting flies on their bodies by 50%.
It is considered that the cattle industry of US losses $2.2 billion per year due to livestock injuries. Namely, biting flies cause cows to eat and sleepless and get into groups, which lead to injuries.
After trying to figure out the function of the zebra stripes, a group of researchers found out that they put off insects by confusing their motion system that detects landing. Then, they painted black-and-white stripes on several cows and observed them for a few days.
Also, cows with black stripes only and no stripes were observed. The results were surprising. The number of biting flies on the zebra-striped cows was half that the number of black-striped cows or no-striped cows.
Even though the cattle industry uses pesticide sprays to put biting flies off cows, according to the researchers, painting zebra stripes on cows will be a cheaper and more effective solution both for the livestock and the environment. It can be an environmentally-friendly alternative to pesticide sprays.