Hugh: Researchers Paint Zebra Stripes on Cows to Keep Flies Away

A new report published in PLOS One shows that paining zebra stripes on cows tends to keep flies off of them. “We found that painting zebra-like stripes on domesticated cows can decrease the incidence of biting flies landing on individuals by 50 percent,” the researchers reported. “We also found that the reduced landings of biting flies coincide with a reduction in defensive behaviors in cows.” Painting the cows with non-toxic paint was also determined to be a lot more environmentally than spraying pesticides on cows to get rid of flies. If you’re wondering what the big deal is about flies biting cows, bug bites cost the US cattle industry roughly $2.2 billion annually because they make cows eat less, sleep worse, and become more stressed.

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