Trapping insects by color: Will it work in Montana?

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Red and green traps attract more sweetpotato weevils than other colors, and a Montana State University researcher who made that discovery wants to know if Montana insects react the same way.

Gadi V.P. Reddy, superintendent and entomologist/ecologist at MSU’s Western Triangle Agricultural Research Center at Conrad, said the lessons he learned in Guam and published in the Jan. 2 issue of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America will be tested on some of the major pests that destroy Montana’s wheat, barley and canola.

Those insects include adult click beetles (wireworms), flea beetles and wheat stem sawfly. The wheat stem sawfly is the most destructive wheat pest in Montana. Wireworms -- tiny white larvae that turn into click beetles – are second only to wheat stem sawfly for insects that damage wheat and barley in Montana.  Flea beetles target canola.

Reddy and his collaborators from the University of Guam (Nirupa Gadi, Rosalie Kikuchi, Jenelyn Batista and others) discovered the relationship between colors and trap effectiveness while developing a trapping system for the sweetpotato weevil. They used a variety of traps that used pheromones to attract the insects. Pheromones are chemicals that insects secrete or excrete to trigger a response in other insects of the same species.

Previous studies showed that the sweetpotato weevil, when outdoors, preferred red traps over gray, green, brown, blue, white, yellow or black, with light red being more attractive than other shades of red, so Reddy and his collaborators conducted a new study. That one was conducted indoors, to see if the weevils reacted any differently. Since the sweetpotato weevil is a pest in both the field (outdoors) and storage (indoors), Reddy said the results are useful in managing the weevil pests.

The scientists discovered that red traps are best when the weevils are outdoors and green traps are most effective when sweetpotato weevils are inside warehouses, greenhouses or other covered spaces. With or without pheromone lures, green traps caught significantly more adult sweetpotato weevils than traps of any other color.

The scientists don’t know why color makes a difference, but they will pursue that question in future studies, Reddy said, noting that insects use chromatic cues to identify colors. In the meantime, he has already started testing different colored traps in Montana.

Montana doesn’t grow sweet-potatoes and its insects are different from those found in Guam, but the technology to trap them is the same, said Reddy, who came to MSU from Guam in June 2012.

Sweet-potatoes are a six-month crop grown in the southern United States, Guam, Hawaii, China and many other areas of the world. The sweetpotato weevil, Cylas formicarius, is one of the most serious insects causing damage to sweet-potatoes in the world, Reddy and Gadi said in their newly published paper. They added that without proper and effective control, weevil populations are likely to cause a huge or complete loss of sweetpotato production in sweetpotato growing areas.

Crop damage can range from 30 to 40 percent in the United States to 60 or 70 percent in Guam, to 70 to 100 percent in some African countries, such as Uganda and Nigeria, Reddy said.

“Consequently, there is an urgent need for development of eco-friendly control methods for this weevil,” Reddy and Gadi wrote in their paper. “Although some control methods are effective, toxic pesticides applications are detrimental and damaging to our environment. Although pheromone traps are currently being used, no effective control of this weevil was achieved.”

Annals of the Entomological Society of America is published by the Entomological Society of America, the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. The ESA has more than 6,500 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. Members are researchers, teachers, Extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students and hobbyists.


Prev 1 2 Next All



Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...


Comments (0) Leave a comment 

Name
e-Mail (required)
Location

Comment:

characters left


Smooth Wall Grain Bins

Meridian’s SmoothWall bins are the ultimate storage bins, used to handle and store fertilizer, grain, feed and seed, and extend ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form