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Understanding your Trap Count: ABCs

Suterra Oct 28, 2022 8:28:00 AM
Two Suterra small paper delta traps on a quad bed.

Suterra’s handy “ABCs of Trapping” guide will help pest management specialists generate consistent monitoring results each season.
One of the biggest trends in the pheromone industry is the explosion of new lure styles, strengths, and brands. This is creating confusion among pest control advisors who encounter unexpected trap counts. If you have trap questions, remember these ABC’s:

A: Active Ingredient (AI)

What’s in your lure? The type and strength of AI varies by brand, and new lures come out every year. Well-intentioned purchasers can get confused with unfamiliar AI names and order different strengths or even entirely different AIs, resulting in unexpected trap counts.

Pro Tip: Always provide your purchaser with the brand, AI, and the strength of lure or trap you want. Providing extra details like the manufacturer SKU will reduce errors.

B: Benchmarking

Because different brands and types of lures catch different things, it’s important to use the same AI and strength of lure when benchmarking. Whether you’re comparing between blocks, neighbors, or seasons, it’s hard to benchmark if you’re not sure what’s in your lure.

Pro Tip: Always note the lure brand, strength, and AI whenever you’re collecting trap counts, and make sure they’re identical between blocks or fields if you’re comparing results. This is especially true when deploying combo lures, which will generate very different results than non-combo lures (see below).

C: Combo Lures

Unlike traditional pheromone lures that only attract males, combo lures attract both males and females by using a combination of attractants. This will result in higher trap counts than you’re used to seeing if you haven’t previously used combo lures.

Pro Tip: When switching to combo lures, consider deploying a non-combo lure as well to provide a season of “bridging” data. You’ll create next season’s baseline combo lure data and still have a benchmark from last season.

Now that we’ve covered the ABCs, let’s throw in an X:


X: Trap Shut-Down

Trap counts in blocks with mating disruption pheromone deployed should be much lower than non-disrupted fields, but don’t expect zero catches—especially in high-pressure areas or years. Mating disruption causes trap suppression, not trap shut-down. Is it still working? Yes. Mating disruption works in many ways—not only by confusing males. Lower female fecundity and less fertile offspring also result, all of which lowers damage, saves on chemical treatments, and protects waterways and pollinators.

Pro Tip: Visit Suterra’s Monitoring hub for monitoring guides, lure products, and blog articles from our expert Ph.D.s and PCAs.