Flying Insect Control with ILTs

Features - Pest Control

Expert Tips for Use in Your Plant

April 3, 2012

Insect Light Traps (ILTs) can help provide control of a number of flying insects and, according to FDA GMPs, UV light traps can be used in certain areas, as long as they are designed and placed to prevent further contamination from the tray that collects the insect remains. Whether you install the equipment yourself or work with a third-party pest management provider, the following expert tips provide recommendations for placement and use in food and beverage processing plants.

1. Three key steps for controlling flying insects in food processing are:

a. Assess the Pressure. Maximize ILT effectiveness by working with the custodial staff to analyze entry points and production flow and practices, including refuse disposal, to understand where and when the heaviest outside pressure presents itself. Schedule ongoing meetings with the staff to review control efforts and feedback.

b. Strategically Place ILTs. Best practices include placing ILTs two to five feet high on the inside walls next to exterior doorways or loading-dock doors, making sure that the ILTs are not positioned in a way that directly attracts flying insects from the outside. Place ILTs on the outside walls of production areas approximately five feet from doors. Don’t overlook areas where items are brought inside the facility—such as cafeterias, break rooms, and office areas.

c. Expand ILT Protection in Sensitive Areas. In sensitive areas, use ILTs that have covered glueboards to keep air currents from blowing captured insect parts into the air. Even though most glueboards are changed regularly, for added security, use units that have a screen or covering around the glueboard. If an insect needs to be identified, place clear plastic over the entire glueboard before relocating it to the service kit.(BASF Pest Control Solutions)

2. For best results, install ILTs:

a. near room entrances. This will maximize the chances that the trap will catch the insects as they enter a room.

b. near areas of highest insect population.

c. in areas where room temperatures average above 50° F. Most insects like to be in a warm ambient temperature. Installing the trap in a warm area will help maximize the insect catch. (Paraclipse, Inc.)

3. Do not install ILTs:

a. near competing light sources.

b. near water or other damp locations.

c. where traffic could damage the unit.

d. near excessive heat sources such as ovens or furnaces.  (Paraclipse, Inc.)

4. Test the electrical grid; just because the lamps are lit does not mean the grid is charged. To test, use a voltage meter to read both sides of the grid. (Insect-O-Cutor)

5. A trap’s ultraviolet light lures an insect to the fixture. Place traps so insects are not drawn across or near any open product, process, or related materials. Try to intercept insects between their entry point and your production area. Breaks in firewalls make for an excellent collection point. (Insect-O-Cutor)

6. The insect light trap industry is often plagued by exaggerated claims.
For this reason, always ask for research behind any ILT claims. To promote professionalism, begin with investigating claims for square-foot coverage. Inspire all manufacturers toward a higher level of professionalism, a higher level of science that all can be proud of. Push for insect light traps, avoid gimmicks, and be professional. (David Gilbert, Gilbert Industries)

7. Food processing facilities use a wide variety of edible raw materials
, many of which could be the source of a pest introduction. It is critical to monitor and control flying insects in the areas used to receive and store these products. ILTs are perfect tools for this function and should be located in such a way as to effectively intercept insects before they enter the processing areas. (P+L Systems)

8. It is fairly well known that ILTs should be placed at a height that is within the normal flight range of most flying insects (five to six feet from the floor). But it is just as important to position the units in a place that is easily accessible for inspection and routine service of glueboards and bulbs. (P+L Systems)

9. One key function served by ILTs in a food processing facility is early detection of an infestation.
As different insect species are attracted to different wavelengths of UV light, the most ideal bulbs are those that emit as wide a UV-wavelength band as possible to increase the chance of attracting the maximum spectrum of flying insect species. (P+L Systems)

10. Establish a regular cleaning and service program for ILTs, as a poorly maintained unit is not only less effective, but can be an indicator to health inspection officials that general cleaning standards are less than satisfactory. The frequency of service will be dictated by factors such as fly population pressure, heat, humidity, and other environmental factors; for example, higher frequency is needed in an area prone to airborne particulates. (J. T. Eaton)

11. Most UV light bulbs used in ILTs will only emit optimum UV light waves for up to 8,000 hours. To maximize the efficacy of these units, bulbs should be changed at least once per year, ideally in early spring to have optimum UV emission occurring during the peak fly breeding and activity season. (J. T. Eaton)

12. Not all ILT replacement boards are equal. Although you may think that “a glue board is just a glue board,” there are a number of factors that separate the quality products. Look for features such as ease of removing the release liner, UV-blocking additives in the adhesive, rigidity of the substrate, and consistent adhesive layer. Quality equals better performance for ILT replacement boards. (AP&G)

13. In its Pest Management Standards for Food Plants, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends that ILTs be placed not less than two feet but no more than five feet above floor level unless targeting high-flying insects or other special circumstances. When targeting high-flying pests, or when attempting to monitor in areas where electrical power is difficult to access, the use of a small portable ILT is a good approach. (AP&G)

14. Change glue boards regularly. Many facilities make the mistake of waiting for glue boards to be full before changing them. The biggest problem with this practice is that the UV light common in ILTs degrades adhesives rather quickly. To prolong the adhesive’s life, high-quality ILT replacement boards include a UV blocking additive in their glue formulations. However, ILT glue boards should be checked regularly and replaced monthly. (AP&G)

Other References

The author is Editor of QA magazine. She can be reached at

Flying Insect Light Traps Product Guide

BASF Pest Control Solutions

The Vector Plasma is quick, sleek, light-weight, and delivers 72 watts of insect attraction. Ideal for use in food processing, commercial kitchens, restaurants, warehouses, and schools, the company said, the Lift & Service cover makes service and maintenance easy. It is available with a protective screen or open grill. The compact size of the Vector Plasma One delivers fly attraction where wall space is limited. It is ideal for use in bars, delis, small kitchens, storage areas, trash rooms, and schools, the company said, adding that value pricing allows for multiple units in complex environments.


The Paraclipse Terminator ILT commercial/industrial unit is designed for use in large areas (up to 10,000 square feet) where flying insects are a problem. The Terminator uses a combination of UV light, attractants, trapping surface, and UV-booster reflectors. An auto-advancing 60-day cartridge system continuously releases sex attractants and a fresh sticky surface that can hold over 4,000 flies. The auto-advancing system rolls the trapped flies inside the cartridge and has an end-of-cartridge alarm. Paraclipse Terminators meet USDA/FDA guidelines and may be used as a free-standing portable unit, ceiling hung or wall mounted.

Gilbert Industries

Gilbert Model 601T The Don was designed by Don Gilbert, who first solved an industrial insect problem with an outdoor electrocuter placed in the dock area of a paper plant. Unable to convince the manufacturer to build an indoor trap, he began manufacturing his own in 1967. Don’s son succeeded his father in 1993 with the intent to carry on his father’s effort to avoid gimmicks and make ILTs science based and fit for professionals.


Protecting product and process from insect contamination, Insect-O-Cutor models are available for loading docks, warehouses, production areas, laboratories, and countless other installations. Insect-O-Cutors are a proven alternative and a complement to pesticide usage, and provide simple, effective, energy-efficient, around-the-clock product protection, the company said. The portable, multi-mount Insect-O-Cutor model 2499EDGA is routinely used as an immediate mechanical pest control measure to address drain fly infestations prior to proper drain cleaning/fixing. 

J.T. Eaton

J.T. Eaton is the exclusive U.S. distributor of two high-quality insect light traps manufactured by P+L Systems. These Synergetic flylights also have patented green light technology that catches 30 percent more flies, the company said. The units, #1500LV and #1520, are used for flying insect control in a wide range of environments and situations. These lights are easy to service and are effective on fruit flies, wasps, mosquitoes, moths, pantry pests, and flies. For more information about J.T. Eaton (including flylights, glue boards, and bulbs), visit


AP&G has developed two new ILTs—the portable Catchmaster Glostik and the freestanding plug-in Catchmaster SilenTrap. Designed for situations and locations where power is not easily accessible, the Glostik is a small, battery-operated/portable device. The LED-based Glostik attracts multiple species of flying insects—including many common in food processing/prep areas such as flies, Indian Meal Moths, and most flying insects. AP&G is also introducing the SilenTrap, a freestanding plug-in unit that features a 13W UV bulb. The device is extremely lightweight and can be easily moved from location to location to assist in controlling outbreaks in “hotspots.” 

P+L Systems

P+L Systems manufactures high-quality flylights (insect light traps) used for flying insect control and monitoring in food processing and manufacturing facilities across the globe. Motivated by customer-focused innovation, P+L Systems makes flylights (including newly introduced models carrying the Synergetic brand) that provide protection from flying insects in a variety of environments, including sensitive food processing areas (such as the Halo units); areas requiring regular wash-downs (such as the Splashproof unit); warehousing and receiving/dispatch (such as the new Allure electrical grid unit); and “front of house” areas where discreetness is a requirement (such as the Aura and Luralite units).