Traps, their importance in Insect Pest Management

       What are traps, their importance in Insect Pest Management (IPM) and types and how they are used. 

Dr. Faisal Hafeez, Ayesha Iftekhar, Muhammad Sohaib, Ayesha Arshad. 

Ayub Agriculture Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad. 

Insect Traps: 

To monitor the pest population over an area by using food, chemical or any other source, such type of traps is used. 

The selection of trap is an important factor of any trapping and monitoring program in an Insect pest management. Improper selection of a trap and trap style can give us misleading results regarding true pest numbers in an area. 

Importance of insect monitoring traps: 

Monitoring of insects and diseases is necessary over an area to create IPM program. If we assess target pests at the right time with the right product so it can save our money, also makes our pest control program more effective, and helps in preserving natural enemy in an area where we want to apply traps. These traps are based on the principles of IPM. These traps avoid the application of chemical as we monitor the insects and control by other means like biological, cultural control etc. 

In whole world pesticide problem was reduced by trap invention. Pest can develop resistance against chemical, which is not our desirable achievement and it can be reduced by traps invention. Trap application performs much better in the sustainable agriculture practices, as it doesn’t give any residual effects on the field because of absence of chemicals. The part of ideal IPM is not to harm beneficial insects. Hence light trap follows the IPM practices almost ideally. According to the desire we can kill the pests or simply trap them. Trapped insects can also be used for studying their interaction with environment and their further physiomorphic characters. Finally, these traps have been accepted to have significant importance in IPM. 


How do pheromone traps work? 

Pheromones are natural compounds that are produced in insect body, and they use these chemicals for communication purposes such as food, mating etc. We use such chemical to monitor their population over an area, such as methyl eugenol is used for fruit fly capturing. Sex pheromones and aggregation pheromones are most commonly used. 


                                                   Trap Types 

Insect traps vary widely in shape, size, and construction. Some common varieties are described below. 

Light Trap: 

Light traps are used with or without ultraviolet light (UV) that attracts certain insect pest in a certain time. Light sources may include fluorescent light, light emitting diode etc. Light traps are widely used to monitor nocturnal insects means night time insects. Natural and artificial factors which may affect the working of light traps are such as night temperature, humidity and lamp type etc. 


Malaise trap: 

A tent-like structure used for trapping flying insects, especially Hymenopterans and Dipterans. The trap is made of a material such as terylene netting and can be of various colors. Insects enter the tent wall and thus funneled into a collecting vessel. It was invented by Rene Malaise in 1934. 



Adhesive traps: 

They are also called sticky traps as they capture the insect with the help of an adhesive substance. They may be simple flat panels or enclosed structures. Sticky traps are widely used in agricultural and indoor pest monitoring program. As insect can get shelter in loose bark, crevices, so shelter traps or other artificial cover traps are used. They are also presnt in various colours. 


                                   Flying insect traps 

These traps are used to catch flying insects. 

  • Flight Interception Traps: 

It is also known as a barrier trap. It is a simple kind of barrier. We use barrier between two points usually between trees. So the flying insects fly and fall in a container filled with preservator. They are used for capturing many small insects that are flying about and tend to fly downward when hitting a wall. 


  • Pan or Bowl Trap: 

They are also known as Bee Bowl, is used in collecting flying insects that we can see such as bees.  Usually such insects are attracted to colors, so traps are found in variety of colors such as white, yellow, blue, or, possibly, purple. 


  • Bucket Trap: 

Bucket traps and bottle traps, are inexpensive. The bucket is filled with soapy water or anti freezing agent to attract the insect pest. Mostly, moth traps are bucket-type traps. The sampling of wasp and beetle population is done by bottle traps. 


                                    Terrestrial Arthropod Traps 

Pitfall traps: 

For crawling and flightless arthropods such as Carabid beetles and spiders these types of traps are used. In this type bucket is buried into soil and its lid or outer mouth like section is touching air. 


Soil Emergence traps: 

It consists of an inverted cone or funnel which is attached to a collecting jar on upper side. It is designed to capture insects with a subterranean pupal stage. Emergence traps have been used to monitor important disease-vectors such as Phlebotomine sandflies. 


Aquatic arthropod traps: 

This trap consists of a mesh funnels or conical structures that leads the insects into jar or bottle which is attached with it. They are used to catch aquatic insects such as caddisflies, mosquitoes and odonatan order depending upon their stage. These traps are present in 2 types: free floating or submerged type. 


Baiting for insects: 

Ants, different beetles like dung beetles, carrion beetles, bark beetles, moths, and other insects are attracted to various baits. These baits can be applied to the ground, on trees, ropes, or elsewhere where insect population is high or where we want trapping, and insects can be collected directly from these places. Several different types of baits that are commonly used are given below. 

  1. Brown sugar yeast bait. 
  1. Carrion/dung Bait. 
  1. Turpentine. 
  1. Beer/Molasses Bait. 
  1. Wine/Fermenting Fruit Bait. 

Lindgren Funnel Traps: 

Such traps are series of black funnels hanging one on top of the other with the help of rope between two trees. A container with ethanol or ethanol/propylene glycol mix is placed (or some other preservative) is placed on bottom side of funnel. They apparently mimic standing trees and wood boring beetles are attracted to them. The smell of the ethanol is also an attracting parameter for beetles. Various other insects are also found in collection. 




           So, from above discussion it is very clear that traps are important in IPM program. They can be used to reduce effects of chemicals in fields which is a healthy program for humans too. In countries where pesticides application is very high, such traps must be used. Extension Department should give awareness to farmers about trapping system for prosperity and chemical free environment. 



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