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Half Life Measurement

Explaining the fly catch

Many claims are made about the effectiveness of electric fly killer units in the quest to get rid of flies effectively. It can be difficult to decide on which fly control unit is the best option for any given situation. To overcome this, Rentokil has devised a standard test to measure performance that allows different units to be compared directly with each other. 

Competing Claims

All manufacturers claim their electric fly killers are best, but there is no common standard for measuring their effectiveness and instead they use various proxies as a guide:

  • Some manufacturers express performance in terms of power consumption (eg. two 36W bulbs), but this does not necessarily translate to UV output from the fly killer unit and there are many other factors that can affect performance.
  • Others express the effectiveness in terms of floor area (eg 80m2). This is more of a marketing tactic than science; there is a complex link between UV output and attraction.
  • Beyond this, many competing claims are made for the design of fly killer units including the use of reflectors, different materials for covers and the positioning of glue boards. These have some impact in removing a fly infestation, although this is often overstated.

In reality, the only real measure for assessing the effectiveness of an electric fly killer unit is to test how quickly it catches flies when they are released in a controlled environment. This is the basis of the Rentokil test of fly killer effectiveness.All manufacturers claim their electric fly killers are best, but there is no common standard for measuring their effectiveness and instead they use various proxies as a guide:


The Half-Life Measure

The Rentokil test is based on releasing 100 house flies (Musca domestica) in a standard test room and then counting the number of flies that are captured at regular intervals over a seven hour period. This process is repeated at least six times to ensure there is a fair reflection of performance over time.

Rentokil has developed the concept of the Half-Life measure, representing the time taken to capture 50% of the flies released in the test chamber. In other words, this is the median life expectancy of a fly released into the room before it is caught by the fly killer. The lower the Half-Life, the more effective the electric fly killer unit is.


Testing of the Rentokil Luminos Range

Rentokil have used a rigorous testing regime to develop and further enhance its Luminos range of fly killers to ensure the highest level of fly control efficacy at different price points.

In these tests, the Luminos fly killers consistently outperform competitor fly control units in the same class. We have tested against a wide range of competitor units and can demonstrate the enhanced performance that the Luminos range offers to get rid of flies effectively.


Research and Development

Rentokil performs regular testing on all units using a scientific method to ensure fly control units are efficient and effective. Testing of fly killer units is carried out by experts at the dedicated testing chambers at the Rentokil European Technical Centre in Horsham.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement in fly control methods, we will continue to develop and test new enhancements to our Luminos Fly Killer range and measure performance against competitor units to ensure that we keep our edge and effectively get rid of flies on your premises.

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