Insect traps: A useful tool in pest management

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

The following article was recommended by MSUE Educator Tom Dudek. It is reprinted with permission from Branching Out, a Cornell University IPM newsletter for trees and shrubs, Vol 13, No. 3. 

Insect traps are useful tools in pest management programs. For the most part, they are used to monitor the appearance of specific stages of various pests. These monitoring traps do not provide control but instead are used to predict optimal timing of treatment. There are a few cases such as with bagworms and pine shoot that the traps can be used to reduce the populations of the insects.

Insect traps vary in design but the common ones are simply sticky traps (usually yellow) pheromone traps. Sticky traps have an adhesive-coated surface with the insects adhere to when they walk on or fly close by. Pheromone traps use a synthetic insect attachment to lure (usually the adult male) to the trap. These traps use an adhesive-coated surface like that on the sticky traps or they draw insects into an escape proof, funnel-shaped entrance to capture the target insect. And there are various other traps as well that we will mention below.

As a general rule, traps should be set out one to two weeks before the earliest known emergencies dates. You should visit the traps a minimum of once a week.

See tables for traps used for monitoring

Pheromone Traps
Sticky traps

Other types of traps

Traps used for reducing populations, not just monitoring