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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Knight, Alan
item Fisher, Joan

Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/26/2006
Publication Date: 1/5/2007
Citation: Knight, A.L., Fisher, J. 2007. Increased catch of male codling moth (lepidoptera: tortricidae)in orange plastic delta-shaped traps. Environmental Entomology. 35:1597-1602.

Interpretive Summary: Currently codling moth, a major pest of apple, pear, and walnuts, is monitored with traps baited with sex pheromones. Moth catches are used to decide if and when insecticide sprays should be applied. Until recently, these traps were white or cream color. More recently hand-painted green or orange traps were shown to catch more codling moth while catching fewer non-target insects, such as honeybees. Researchers at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Labortory and with Suterra Inc., conducted experiments to evaluate an orange colored trap. A commercial orange plastic trap was also more effective than white plastic traps in a series of field trials. Laboratory studies conducted in a flight tunnel showed that orange traps are more effective than white traps due to a higher proportion of moths contacting the trap and a higher proportion of moths flying directly inside versus landing on the outside of traps. This result will assist apple growers in detecting codling moth populations with pheramone traps.

Technical Abstract: Studies were conducted in apple, Malus domestica (Borkhausen), to evaluate the attractiveness of an orange plastic versus the standard white plastic delta-shaped sticky trap in capturing adult codling moth, Cydia pomonella L. Initial field tests showed that both orange and green-painted traps caught more codling moths than the unpainted white trap. An orange plastic trap caught a similar number of moths as the orange painted trap. The orange plastic trap caught significantly more moths than either a solid white plastic trap or a white plastic trap with an orange logo covering 25% of the surface of the trap. Orange traps caught a significantly higher proportion of male moths than white traps in flight tunnel tests conducted at two light levels. Catches of female codling moth in traps baited with pear ester did not differ between white and orange traps in field or flight tunnel tests. We hypothesize that this effect of trap color on the capture of male codling moth is due to both the lower overall reflectance and the absence of reflectance at wavelengths < 560 nm in orange versus white traps.

Last Modified: 06/24/2017
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