Pheromones are the chemicals that insects secrete to inform other insects about danger, sex, or location. Pheromone traps are used as organic pest control in organic farming. In these traps, the pest insects such as moths, aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, etc are attracted and captured by using synthetically manufactured sex pheromones.
The sticky traps are used to attract flying pests such as whiteflies, thrips, aphids, leafhoppers, leaf miners, etc. The insects are attracted to the bright color of traps and stick to the adhesive surface of these traps. These are available in yellow and medium blue colors. The insects such as leaf miners, aphids, stink bugs, cucumber beetles, and leafhoppers are lured to yellow color. On the other hand, thrips are more attracted to the blue sticky traps.
The advantages of sticky traps are;
- These are economical and cost-friendly.
- Sticky traps have high-temperature resistance.
- These are easy to install and harmless to other farm creatures.
The advantages of pheromones in organic farming are:
- By using pheromones, a farmer can monitor insect pests and possibly control the infestation by taking early preventive measures.
- The pheromones can control insects by disrupting their mating patterns.
- These are used to capture many adult pests by mass trapping.
- These traps can attract insects to consume poison baits.
The pheromone lures are made of sulfur-free rubber and infused with pest-specific sex attractants. A polyethylene sleeve is fixed on the lower side of the trap funnel that traps insects. The trapped insects can be collected by removing the rubber band at the bottom of the sleeve. On the top of the trap, there is a “T” shaped handle that is used to fix it with support.
Let’s learn how to install pheromone traps in an organic farm:
- For monitoring and controlling the pests, install 5 to 7 traps per hectare.
- For mass trapping, install 15 to 20 traps per hectare.
- If you are installing lures for specific moth species, the distance between each trap should be 30 meters.
- Use a stick to position the lures with “T” shaped handles.
- The traps must be 6 to 9 inches above the crop height level.
Pheromones and sticky traps are effective ways of mechanical pest management in your organic farm and greenhouses. However, here are a few concerns about the use of pheromones. It is a bit expensive option. Plus, the previously mated females and offsprings from newly mated females can cause economic damage to crops. Therefore, it is highly advisable to contact your local certifier for area-based product selection.