Pheromone traps utilize “bug hormones” or scents that stimulate the type of scent produced by the female insect to lure their male counterparts. Males lured into traps are then prevented from mating. These traps assist the grower in determining the mating activity of the insect pest by counting insects trapped over a period of time. This information enables a sound decision to be made regarding the timing for the release of beneficial insects and the use of organic repellants and insecticides to knock down large pest populations. Michigan State University’s invention provides an improved pheromone trap to minimize unwanted insect populations. Current monitoring “sticky” traps are large and expensive which limits extensive placement throughout an orchard. Also current traps provide sub-optimal pheromone dispersal (the pheromone exits via a large opening in a narrow stream which limits dispersal). A better trap would allow their use in a “trap and kill” mode which would reduce volumes of insecticides used and resultant residues and would provide a more targeted approach (via monitoring of insect populations) to insect control in orchards. IP Protection Status:Patent pending
Benefits: (1) Dispersal efficiency: The improved trap design would increase baiting efficiency and results. (2) Specificity: Proposed trap hole size selects for targeted insects. (3) Widely applicable: The trap would provide a cheaper and improved alternative for wide use in orchards for control and monitoring insects. (4) Reduced insecticide usage: Targeted and more effective application of insecticides could be achieved. For example an orchard manager could limit insecticide applications to “hot” areas determined via use of the improved pheromone traps. Applications: The technology has applications for orchards and other agricultural operations.