Commercial Pest Control

Half Life Measurement

Explaining the fly catch half life measurement

There are many claims made about the effectiveness of electric fly killers and it can be difficult to work out which is the best unit for a 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 unit and there are many other factors that can affect performance
  • Others express the effectiveness in terms of floor area (eg 80m2) but this is more marketing than science – there is a complex link between UV output and attraction and this is not a useful guide.
  • Beyond this, many competing claims are made for the design of units including the use of reflectors, different materials for covers and the positioning of glue boards. These have some impact although this is often overstated.

In reality, the only real measure for assessing the effectiveness of a 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.

The Half-Life Measure

Explaining the fly catch half life measurement

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 is then repeated at least six times to ensure there is a fair reflection of performance over time.

While this can be presented as a graph, it is difficult to make meaningful comparisons between multiple units, so 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 unit.

Testing of the Rentokil Luminos Fly Killer Range

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

In these tests, the Luminos fly killers consistently outperform competitor 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.

Fly Control Research and Development

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

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, we will continue to develop and test new enhancements to our Fly Killer range and measure performance against competitor units to ensure that we keep our edge.

Competitors are welcome to oversee testing of their units at our facility but we would ask that they would allow the results to be published against the benchmark of the comparable Luminos fly killer unit.

Please visit this page at a later date for more updates on half life testing and performance measurement for Rentokil and competitor fly killers.

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