According to a new study published in PLoS ONE, the measure reduces the number of biting flies on cows by more than half.
Biting flies are one of the great banes of cows worldwide.
The damage done by biting flies equates to roughly $2.2 billion in yearly economic losses for the U.S. cattle industry.
Seeking a potential solution to this situation, a team of Japanese researchers cleverly applied lessons from research on zebras.
And so, the researchers painted six Japanese Black cows with black-and-white stripes, which took just five minutes per cow.
The number of biting flies observed on zebra-striped cows was less than half the number seen on unpainted cows and far less than cows painted with black stripes.
Number of biting flies on legs and body (a) and the frequency of total fly-repelling behaviors (b) of the experimental cows. »