Science Says Painting Cows with Zebra Stripes May Prevent Fly Bites
Often when taking a bite of that juicy hamburger, we forget about the labor of love that it takes to raise cattle. It is a dirty job, but one that keeps the country fed. One thing that most city slickers don't realize, is how much of a nuisance flies can be. According to RealClearScience.com, a recent group of Japanese scientists found that painting cows with zebra stripes reduced the number of fly bites by half.
That's no small accomplishment. Nationally, BeefMagazine.com wrote, stable flies cost the industry nearly 2.4 billion dollars per year. In 2017, Wyoming's cattle industry brought 1.77 billion dollars into the economy, according to the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation. Even though flies are small in size, they do present a large (and expensive) problem for Wyoming ranchers.
The group of scientists had a hypothesis, Real Clear Science wrote. They noticed that zebras in the wild were not affected as badly by files. They wanted to test if the zebra pattern warded off the pesky insect. Their results supported this better than expected.
The researchers took a group of ten cows. First, they painted zebra stripes and documented the animals for three days. They then repeated the same test but without the paint. The painted cows had half as many bites as the non-painted bovine.
Now it is important to note that this theory is a long way to be proven as fact. So don't expect to see a bunch of zebra looking cows in the near future.