The performance of Nzi traps for tabanids (Tabanus similis Macquart, T. quinquevittatus Wiedemann, Chrysops aberrans Philip, C. univittatus Macquart, C. cincticornis Walker, Hybomitra lasiophthalma (Macquart)), stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans Linnaeus) (Diptera: Muscidae) and mosquitoes (Aedes) (Diptera: Culicidae) was investigated at various sites in Canada (Ontario, Alberta) and USA (Iowa, Florida, Louisiana). Traps made from selected fabrics, insect nettings and hand-dyed blue cotton were compared to the African design to provide practical recommendations for temperate environments. Comparisons of substituted materials showed that trap performance was optimal only when traps were made from appropriate fabrics in the colours produced by either copper phthalocyanine (phthalogen blue), or its sulphonated forms (turquoise). Fabrics dyed with other blue chromophores were not as effective (anthraquinone, disazo, formazan, indanthrone, triphenodioxazine). An appropriate texture as well as an appropriate colour was critical for optimal performance. Smooth, shiny synthetic fabrics (polyester, nylon) and polyester blends reduced catches. Low catches occurred even for nominal phthalogen blue, but slightly-shiny, polyester fabrics in widespread use for tsetse. The most suitable retail fabric in place of phthalogen blue cotton was Sunbrella Pacific Blue acrylic awning/marine fabric. It was both attractive and durable, and had a matching colour-fast black. Nzi traps caught grossly similar numbers of biting flies as canopy, Vavoua, and Alsynite cylinder traps, but with differences in relative performance among species or locations.