I read other articles that said the scientists basically found a correlation between heavy populations of biting flies and intensely stripped zebras. All they have is some statistical analysis that says these populations overlap. They [the scientists] then say that this is intriguing and someone should figure out if the stripes actually protect the zebras.
that's fine. it's good science. It's the journalists that are claiming, that flies have an aversion to striped surfaces.
For all we know, the heavy fly populations could be because flies tend to really like landing on stripped hosts so the flies are heaviest where the zebras are.