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New life for pizza tents


Thomas Edison said success is 10 per cent inspiration
and 90 per cent perspiration. But Robert Puckett showed he could build
a better fly trap – phorid fly trap, that is – with 90 per cent
inspiration.

pizzatentThomas Edison said success is 10 per cent inspiration and 90 per cent perspiration. But Robert Puckett showed he could build a better fly trap – phorid fly trap, that is – with 90 per cent inspiration.

The doctoral candidate in the department of entomology at Texas A&M University took a pizza tent and applied what he knew about the biology of the phorid fly to make a successful trap. Pizza tents, also called pizza tri-stands, are the gadgets in take-out pizza boxes that keep the top from caving in.

Puckett tried traditional traps, but the insects are so minute they could fly in and out without getting trapped on the sticky walls. He began trying to think of ways he could take advantage of the insects’ perching habits. Puckett felt something with multiple prongs and a solid base and coated with a sticky substance would do the trick.

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Then, “We were sitting around eating pizza,” and the idea struck him.

The pizza tent, turned upside down, had multiple prongs and a solid base. He coated the prongs with Tanglefoot insect trap coating, something like the coating for flypaper.

The trap is more efficient in terms of time and personnel than the standard methods, Puckett said. Not to mention, inexpensive. And now, other researchers in Texas and Florida have taken his idea and adapted it to their research, he added.


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