In the coming years we have seen a rise in zebra printed fly sheets, including our own best-selling Epic® Classic Zebra Fly Sheet, but is it all just a marketing fad or does it really work?
For many years there has been an ongoing study on the Zebra, to find out why they developed stripes and what the benefit is.
Our research began with the 2012 study taken by Susanne Åkesson and her colleagues. It was here we learned flies, in particular female horseflies, are attracted to polarized light, which is reflected from horse’s fur, black being a better reflector than brown and white being the lowest reflector. Åkesson explained how the black and white stripes reflect the light in alternating, polarized and nonpolarized patterns. Making the zebra “more difficult to single out relative to the surroundings”, thus, in effect, the stripes act as a camouflage.
Fast forward to 2014, Tim Caro and his colleagues also conducted a study where they too found evidence of the black and white stripes deterring flies. In his study, Caro explained, the black and white stripes can eliminate the appearance of the body edge or reduce the contrast of the animal’s form against the background. He then explained, from a distance the stripes might seem attractive to the flies, but it is when they come into land that the pattern dazes them, causing confusion and deters them altogether from landing on the Zebra.
With many studies all showing similar evidence of the Zebra pattern deterring flies, we decided this was a must product for our horses to further help alleviate the stress of biting insects. Since releasing our best-selling Epic® Classic Zebra Fly Sheet, we have received amazing feedback on how well the pattern works at keeping the flies at bay. Here is our favourite customer review,
“I brought my horse in from the field to have his feet done, the flies didn’t seem to be bothering him. He had his Epic® Classic Zebra Fly Sheet on but I decided to take it off whilst he was getting his feet done and within seconds, he was being a heavily irritated by flies and wouldn’t stand still. I put his zebra fly sheet back on to see if it would help and almost immediately, he was unbothered by them and calmed back down. I was amazed that it actually worked, it’s amazing!”
So, to answer the question, is the zebra trend just a fad – no it isn’t, it has been proven not just by scientific studies, but by our customers! To protect your horse this summer with the ultimate fly protection, shop our Epic® Classic Zebra Fly Sheet.