Malaise traps are often used in trapping Muscidae flies for studying species dynamics, but there has been no specific evaluation of the influence of the duration of exposure of the traps in the field and their normal wear and tear on the relative richness and abundance of individuals of different species caught. To evaluate the possible influence of these factors, we installed Malaise traps at Arroio Grande and Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, which are located inside the Campos Sulinos biome in Brazil. In Arroio Grande, new and 18-month-old Malaise traps were installed between March and May, 2004, and in Pelotas, new and 12-month-old traps were installed between April and June of the same year. At each site, the traps were installed 10 m apart, and collections of trapped insects were made at intervals of 7 days. The age of the traps significantly influenced both abundance and richness of the Muscidae trapped, probably because of the changing colour profile at the top of the traps. From these results, we concluded that the use of Malaise traps in the field for long periods to evaluate richness and abundance of muscid flies in biodiversity studies needs re-evaluation.