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Press article on Lucitrap

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    Sunday Herald Sun
    Edition 1 - FIRSTSUN 08 SEP 2002, Page 023
    Trap may spell end to great Aussie blight
    By CHRIS TINKLER


    A REVOLUTIONARY blowfly trap is set to slash the number of insects attacking sheep and plaguing suburbia.
    It is also hoped the trap, developed by a Melbourne biotech company and made in Ballarat, will create a global market worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
    The trap will be welcomed by sheep farmers and outdoor loving Aussies everywhere.
    The sheep industry views the blowfly as public enemy No. 1, with the menace estimated to be responsible for losses of more than $100 million each year in stock deaths, lost production and treatment costs.
    The fly lays eggs on a sheep's soiled, lumpy or damp wool and in skin cuts. Its maggots then feed on irritated skin under the wool and eventually attack the living tissue, causing severe, sometimes fatal, wounds.
    The fly also plagues cities, breeding in landfill sites, carrying diseases and swarming around barbecues.
    But with the new trap, the fly may have finally met its match.
    Three chemicals in little pots under the lid -- simulating rotting carcasses, excrement and rotten eggs -- lure the blowflies into the trap where they starve and die.
    The traps, which sit on posts, have been shown to work on the variety of blowflies that attack sheep throughout Australia and which have been found in landfills north of Sydney.
    Multinational chemical and pharmaceutical giant Bayer has this month signed to market the traps throughout Australia and New Zealand.
    The potential market is estimated to be worth at least $100 million. A marketing campaign will be launched in March.
    A variation of the trap, using slightly modified chemicals, is due to be developed to catch the blowfly variety that makes its home in landfills in Melbourne and areas south of Sydney.
    Moves into the Chinese, United States and South American markets are planned for late next year, with further variations of the trap being made, including one to lure flies that attack cattle.
    The trap was developed by the Queensland Government and research centre Bioglobal, which is half-owned by Melbourne business Cardia Technologies.
    ``The trap lures very big numbers of blowflies, significantly reducing the population and the number of strikes on sheep,'' Bioglobal director Ken Ingbritsen said.
    ``Its potential is huge and we are very excited now Bayer has come in to market the brand.''

    Caption: Caught: The blowfly. Bad news for blowflies: The trap.
    Illus: Photo
    Section: NEWS
 
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