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From the ECHO Research Blog - Dr Motis writes:

Insect pests can cause substantial crop losses or even complete crop failure. An insect monitoring strategy helps farmers make informed, timely pest-management decisions. Scouting is an important part of any monitoring approach, but it is probably not practical to walk through fields or gardens at night when many nocturnal insects are active. Traps, on the other hand, function all the time. Above-ground traps catch flying insects, before they turn into larvae/caterpillars that can decimate plant leaves. They also give the farmer an indication of beneficial insects in the garden or field. 

Insect monitoring traps often use color to attract target insects. Yellow, white, and blue are colors that are commonly used. Insects can also be attracted to a food source such as molasses. Once insects are drawn into a trap, sticky substances or water are used to trap them. 


There are many types of traps that can be purchased or made. For this small trial, we focused on three types of traps:

1) Dishpan trap, consisting of a container filled with water and dish soap. Jugs could be filled and hung on stakes or fruit tree branches. For this trial, we simply placed a round container on the ground.

2) Pitfall traps made by filling a container with water and molasses, with the container buried so that the top of it is flush with the surface of the ground.

3) Sticky traps made by painting molasses onto a yellow piece of cardboard.

The traps were placed in between rows of sorghum at ECHO’s Global Demonstration Farm in southwest Florida. The sorghum plants were close to harvest stage, with a noticeable abundance of insects present. Using a randomized complete block design, two of each of the above-mentioned traps were placed in three locations in the sorghum plot. Insects were counted after 48 hours.

For the full article including results, application and pictures [ Read the Full Blog Post ]