The BHU Future Farming Centre

Information - Crop Management - Pest Management

The use of UV-A light insect traps for TPP control and monitoring in glasshouses

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Go to the mesh crop covers page to read about the research that lead to the discovery of the importance of UV light to tomato potato psyllid (TPP)

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Summary

During research into the effect of UV light on potato blight, it was serendipitously discovered that tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli, TPP) is impeded by reduced UV light levels.  TomatoesNZ funded three glasshouse experiments to investigate if UV-A insect light traps could be used for TPP control. 

It was discovered that TPP were exceptionally attracted to the UV traps, but, not in sufficient numbers to control them.  However, the experimental conditions, principally a small glasshouse isolated by a mesh crop cover and initial high TPP numbers mean this could be an artefact of the experimental setup.  It is considered there is still potential for UV traps to effect control in real-world conditions, and/or be part of an integrated pest management (IPM) solution.

However, with the greater than an order of magnitude attractiveness of UV traps than unilluminated traps, UV traps could be an important monitoring tool.

Three colours of traps, yellow, white and black were tested in the UV traps but no difference was found between them.  When they were tested without UV illumination, yellow was by far the most attractive. 

Equal numbers of TPP were caught when traps were illuminated during the middle of the night and midday.  However, declining TPP populations and the onset of winter mean the experiment should be repeated to validate the initial findings.