Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To Catch A Pest, Scientists Fine-Tune Traps

Date:
January 3, 2007
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Airborne volatile compounds that attract plant-feeding insects to alfalfa could help growers control cotton pests with fewer pesticides. That's according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologists Jackie Blackmer and John Byers, at the agency's U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz.

The western tarnished plant bug feeds on several important crops. Research shows that using certain volatile compounds could improve biological control of the pest.
Credit: Photo by Jack Kelly Clark, courtesy of University of California Statewide IPM Program

Airborne volatile compounds that attract plant-feeding insects to alfalfa could help growers control cotton pests with fewer pesticides.

That's according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologists Jackie Blackmer and John Byers, at the agency's U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Maricopa, Ariz.

Working with Cesar Rodriguez-Saona of Rutgers University, they investigated the influence of volatiles--or chemical scents--on the western tarnished plant bug (WTPB), a pest that feeds on several important crops, including cotton.

Existing control options are extremely limited. Traps can be helpful pest management tools, but their success hinges on knowing exactly how to lure a particular insect. Often, that means enticing them with chemical signals, such as sex pheromones, but researchers have not yet developed an effective WTPB pheromone trap.

So what else attracts these insects? What kind of "carrot" could draw them into a sticky trap?

The scientists' studies show that female WTPB are drawn to alfalfa volatiles and chemically manufactured synthetics that have most of the characteristics of natural chemical scents. This information could be used to develop more effective field traps baited with volatiles.

Volatiles can add flavor to food, and fragrance to perfumes and scented cosmetics. Plants use them to attract and repel insects, but insect responses to them vary.

Another study combined the chemical cues with a green-light-emitting diode (LED), which imitated a visual cue that attracts plant-feeding insects. Alone, the LED drew several females, but when combined with volatile or synthetic cues, it attracted both males and females at all stages of maturity. In some tests, the LED-synthetic compound combination drew positive responses of 80 percent or higher.

In field tests, one chemical compound proved to be particularly promising at drawing WTPB to the traps. Although the traps currently capture some beneficial insects as well, the scientists hope further research will allow them to develop a more target-specific model.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief in-house scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "To Catch A Pest, Scientists Fine-Tune Traps." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102134354.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2007, January 3). To Catch A Pest, Scientists Fine-Tune Traps. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102134354.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "To Catch A Pest, Scientists Fine-Tune Traps." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070102134354.htm (accessed August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins