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Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/022596
Kind Code:
The formulation of improved fly attractants is disclosed that is effective to attract both the house fly and the blow fly. The attractant is placed in fly traps designed to prevent a fly from leaving the trap after it has been drawn into the trap by the attractant. The flies in the trap may be killed either by excess water in the trap to drown them or by an appropriate insecticide. The inclusion of sodium bicarbonate in fly attractants increases the effectiveness of the fly attractant from about four to about ten times. The most preferred formulation consists of about 60 % by weight powdered egg, about 25 % yeast and about 15 % sodium bicarbonate diluted by about 50 parts by weight of water.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
May 14, 1999
Filing Date:
October 31, 1998
Export Citation:
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International Classes:
A01N25/00; (IPC1-7): A01N59/00; A01N37/18; A01N43/04; A01N43/08; A01N43/16; A01N43/24; A01N63/00; A01N63/02; A01N63/04
Foreign References:
Other References:
DATABASE STN CABA 1 January 1900 (1900-01-01), XP002916707, Database accession no. 88-113659
DATABASE STN CABA 1 January 1900 (1900-01-01), XP002916743, Database accession no. 73-41909
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Church, Richard O. (PA, US)
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1. An aqueous fly attractant additionally containing bicarbonate of soda.
2. A fly attractant according to Claim ! containing between about I wt% and 25wt% of sodium bicarbonate.
3. A fly attractant according to Claim 1 comprising a dispersion of active yeast and at least one ingredient selected from the class consisting of a proteinaceous material, a carbohydrate or milk.
4. A fly attractant according to Claim 3 in which the carbohydrate is sugar or honey.
5. A fly attractant according to Claim 3 in which the proteinaceous material is powdered egg or powdered poultry liver.
6. A fly attractant according to Claim 2 wherein the water is present in the dispersion in an amount in of at least 1 wt% of the total weight of the dispersion.
7. A fly attractant according to Claim 3 wherein the proteinaceous material is present in at least twice the amount of the active yeast.
8. A fly attractant according to Claim 7 wherein the active yeast is present in an amount of at least 2 wt% based on the weight of a proteinaceous material.
9. A fly attractant according to Claim 5 which includes at least 10 wt% active yeast based on the weight of the proteinaceous material.
10. A fly attractant consisting of water, active yeast and a proteinaceous material.
11. A fly attractant according to claim 9 additionally containing at least 1 % bicarbonate.
12. A fly attractant according to Claim 10 in which the proteinaceous material is powdered egg.
13. A method for trapping and killing flies, including both house flies and blow flies, which comprises preparing an aqueous mixture of 50% to 60% powdered egg, 20% to 30% yeast and the balance baking soda and filing a container with the aqueous mixture an placing the filed container at a location where flies are known to be located.
14. A method according to Claim 13 in which the solids in the mixture are diluted with from about 20% to 60% water based on the weight of the solids.
15. A formulation for killing flies comprise of about 60% powdered egg, about 25% yeast and about 15% bicarbonate of soda diluted by about 50 parts by weight of water.
ATTRACTANTS FOR TRAPPING FLIES Historv of the Application This is a continuation-in-part application of my co-pending United States application Ser. No. 09/167384 filed October 6,1998 which is a continuation-in-part of my application Ser. No. 08/963,362 filed November 3,1997 which in turn is based upon Provisional Applications Serial No. 60/034,497 filed December 26,1996 and Serial No. 60/043,686 filed April 14,1997.

Technical Field This application relates to attractants for flies and their use in traps for flies. More particularly the invention relates to means for improving the efficacy of known formulations for attracting flies as well as to novel formulations that are particularly benefited by these means. The preferred attractants of the invention, as compared with those known and used in the prior art are more effective in attracting flies, they are nontoxic, they present no hazard to the environment, they remain effective over a significant period of time and they are effective in attracting different species of flies including the common house fly and the bottle or blow fly.

Background Art Literally hundreds of substances for attracting and killing flies have been proposed for limiting the population of the ubiquitous fly. Many of these, such as the time worn fly papers of previous generations, contain disagreeable substances and are known to cause illness and headaches, particularly when used in confined and poorly ventilated spaces.

Other more recently developed effective insecticides have proven sufficiently harmful to the environment and human and animal life that their use has been banned or restricted.

Some of the formulations to control flies contain a combination of attractants and toxic substances. For example, U. S. patent 3,937,826 is formulated from a combination of fish food and meat by-products, cooked with sugar and colored bright yellow to attract flies. A complex organic phosphate mixture is added to the attractant as an insecticide.

U. S. patent 5,243,781 discloses the design for a bottom entry fly trap and an organic, nontoxic attractant. U. S. patent 4,638,592 teaches that bottom entry insect traps are most effective in trapping yellow jackets, but that top entry traps are much more effective with flies. The'592 patent also discloses an attractant for flies that is an aqueous mixture of yeast, egg and milk in a fermenting state. It is stated in the patent that a yellow- green to yellow color is effective in inducing flies to enter a trap.

U. S. patent 4,849,216 discloses a fly attractant based upon poultry protein. The patent teaches that when the protein is mixed with a protein digestive microorganism, a fermentation process is induced to produce carbon dioxide and give off odors that will attract flies. The claims of this patent call for the conjoint use of variously specified quantities of poultry liver ; a protein digestive quantity of at least one poultry protein digestive microorganism capable of digesting the liver; a carbon dioxide producing effective amount of a carbohydrate; and a fermentative quantity of at least one carbohydrate fermentation microorganism.

Other patents and references in the open literature suggest all manner of attractants for flies-usually being a hodgepodge of many different ingredients. A good example of this is an attractant which is called the"Improved Beltsville Bait."The attractant is a complex mixture including table sugar, double acting baking powder, urea, dry yeast, air dried blood, honey, banana flavoring and water. Despite its complexity, it is an example of a product that doesn't work well. Formulations such as are taught in the referenced U. S. patent have been prepared using milk/sugar/powdered egg in a weight ratio of 6/6/1, and these too have only poor to moderate effectiveness.

As a generality it can be said that the fly attractants known to the prior art are formulated to attract either the house fly or the blow fly, but none are known to have substantial utility in attracting both of them. One of the reasons that the attractants known in the prior art are specific to one or the other of these two species of flies is that the blow fly and the house fly do not eat the same kind of food. The blow fly, for one, thrives on decaying meats including red meats, chicken and fish. House flies, on the other hand, subsist mainly on rotten vegetables and animal feces. Because of these natural predispositions, blow flies are more often found outdoors, perhaps in the woods, feeding

on dead animals. House flies, on the other hand, feed on food wastes and other garbage and can be found in and around the home and garbage containers. The house fly is also strongly attracted to locations where animal feces are abundant which includes barns, cow pastures, chicken coups and the like.

Disclosure of the Invention It has been discovered that an aqueous mixture of a major amount by weight of a high protein substance and a minor amount by weight of active yeast produces, by the standards of the prior art, superior attractants for both house flies and blow flies. Either powdered egg or powdered poultry liver work well as the proteinaceous content of these simple formulations.

It can be demonstrated that when only powdered egg or powdered poultry liver is mixed with water, the mixtures are poor fly attractants. It is also true that active yeast in and of itself is ineffective as a fly attractant. However, when aqueous mixtures including both a proteinaceous material and about 2% (all percentages in the specification and claims are by weight unless otherwise noted) or more of active yeast are mixed together, these formulations, as compared to attractants known in the prior art, are fair to good fly attractants. It is an observed anomaly that when other materials generally recognized for enhancing the effectiveness of a fly attractants are added to the simple aqueous mixture of protein and yeast of this invention, the effectiveness of the fly attractant is diminished. It can be seen in the table given in the Examples that the addition of commonly accepted additives, such as milk or carbohydrates, detract from the effectiveness of the preferred simple aqueous mixture of protein and yeast.

As long as the protein and the yeast are wet out, the amount of water added to the active yeast and the protein substance does not appear to be critical in the practice of the invention. For example, an effective attractant was made by adding only eight grams of a yeast/protein mixture described above with dilutions ranging from about a half cup of water to about two cups of water. Both dilutions achieved excellent results and dilutions down to as little as I wt% water appear to be effective. As a practical matter, however, one should use more than a minimum amount of water to kill flies. A surplus quantity of water in the fly traps is useful in that it will drown trapped flies and inhibit the growth of maggots. Of

equal or even greater significance is the fact that excess water drowns young flies and prevents fertilized eggs from hatching. Considering that a female fly can bear about 1,000 offspring in a given season, the impact of drowning a single female fly is a small but significant beginning in ridding an area of flies.

The amount of water used affects the intensity of the odor given off. When the attractant is intended for indoor use, a lesser quantity of water is suggested to minimize distasteful odors. It should not be implied, however, that stronger odors attract more flies.

The behavior of flies is imperfectly understood and the optimum intensity of the odor for attracting various species of flies has not been quantified. Nonetheless, it can be reported that the formulations of the invention have proven effective in attracting several species of flies with as little as 1 wt% water, although as noted above, more water is recommended to drown the flies.

While the forgoing disclosure discusses improved formulations effective in attracting flies, a more important aspect of this invention lies in the discovery that the inclusion of a minor amount of sodium bicarbonate (i. e. about I wt% or more based on the total weight of proteinaceous material and active yeast) makes a profound improvement in the formation. Quite remarkably and inexplicably it has been discovered that sodium bicarbonate dramatically improves the attractant properties of not only the more effective preferred formulations discussed above, but also vastly improves the efficacy of prior art attractants of lesser effectiveness.

The preferred formulations of this invention are almost of equal efficacy in attracting either the common house fly or the bottle nose or blow fly. No attractant is known which duplicates this versatility let alone the dramatic increase in effectiveness which results from the inclusion of sodium bicarbonate. No specific criticality has been established for the amount of sodium bicarbonate that is required for the improved performance of a fly attractant other than to observe that as little as l % and as much as 15% have proved effective in tests which have been made. It is thought that the upper limit of sodium bicarbonate is not critical except that excessive use in a formulation will necessarily reduce the amount of the other active ingredients which can be added.

Examples: In the Examples that follow, a number aqueous dispersions of fly attractants were prepared using formulations suggested by the prior art as well as the preferred formulations of this invention. Sodium bicarbonate was included in some of the examples to demonstrate the effectiveness of the formulations with and without sodium bicarbonate. Unless <BR> <BR> <BR> otherwise indicated, the dilution factor was 25 parts by weight of water to 1 part by weight of the powdered attractant. The several formulations were tested under similar conditions in which the aqueous formulations were placed in identical trap containers and the containers were suspended about 18 inches off the ground in the near vicinity of open chicken coops on a chicken farm. The number of flies found in each trap after a given elapsed time were counted and compared. Arbitrarily, the formulation of the most effective attractant measured was rated 100 and all other formulations rated as a percentage of 100 based on the relative number of flies counted in each of the traps. The following code identifies the ingredients used in the formulations that follow. Those formulations that contain sodium bicarbonate are underlined in bold to make it easier to compare results with and without sodium bicarbonate. Note that in addition to the improvements achieved with the use of sodium bicarbonate, common table salt will also show some improvement in the effectiveness of the formulation.

Egg =Powdered Egg Yeast = Active Yeast SB = Sodium Bicarbonate Liver =Poultry Liver TS = Table Salt Milk = Powdered Milk S = Sugar H = Honey Formulations Relative Effectiveness 75% Egg/25 % Yeast 28 60% Egg/25% Yeast/15% TS 56 60% Egg/25% Yeast/15% SB 100 60% Egg/25% Yeast/15% SB (50/1 water 63 60% Egg/25% Yeast/15% Milk 18<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 51 % Egg/21 % Yeast/13% Milk/15% SB 91 75% Liver/25% Yeast 19 60% Liver/25% Yeast/15% SB 33 60% Liver/15% Yeast/15% Honey 8 51 % Liver/21 % Yeast/13% Honev/15% SB 84 50% BS/50% Yeast 14 75% Egg/25% BS I <BR> <BR> 100% Egg 1<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 100% Liver 1<BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 100% Yeast 1 100% BS 0 In addition to testing the above formulations, five different commercially available fly attractants were purchased and tested under the same conditions as above. These commercial products were rated on the above scale from a low of 1 to a high of 4.

Previous Patent: WO/1999/022595