In Summary
  • With Tuta absoluta, however, this might be a challenge because the adult moth is only active during the night. In addition, the eggs are only 0.5mm, therefore, it may be difficult to see with naked eyes.
  • If catches are above 30 moths per trap a week, the number of traps should be increased to 20 an acre. Lures should be replaced after six weeks, water traps should be refilled with water and soap twice a week during hot periods.
  • When buying lures, it is important to note the amount of active ingredients each contains. Most lures in the market contain 0.5mg active ingredient. Stronger lures that contain 0.8mg can give up to three times as many catches.

A teacher who does not know the bullies in his class will not be able to control the students. Likewise, a farmer who does not know the pests in his farm will not be able to prevent damage on his crops.

Effective crop protection starts with timely and correct identification of the pests in the field. For a farmer to effectively control Tuta absoluta, he must detect the pest early. Detection of weeds, diseases and pests is often referred to as “crop scouting”.

Scouting of pests can be done visually by inspecting the crop. With Tuta absoluta, however, this might be a challenge because the adult moth is only active during the night. In addition, the eggs are only 0.5mm, therefore, it may be difficult to see with naked eyes.

When you notice the destructive stage of the Tuta absoluta -the caterpillar stage – it is already too late as the damage is done.

Thus, to detect the presence of Tuta absoluta early, it is necessary to trap the moths before they start causing problems.
You can use pheromones to lure them and then catch them using a delta-trap. When a female moth wants to mate, it will send out specific pheromones that attract only male Tuta absoluta moths.

A pheromone-based trap makes use of a copy of chemicals stored in a rubber lure. Once outside its original packaging, the lure will start emitting pheromones over a six week period, which will attract male Tuta absoluta moths to the trap and they will be caught on the sticky surface at the bottom of the gadget.

It is highly unlikely that additional moths will come into the field due to the trap’s limited attraction range. Early in the season, two traps should be placed per acre of tomatoes. The farmer should count on a daily basis the amount of moths that are caught in the traps. It is important to keep a record of the counts.

When three moths or more are caught in one trap in a week, the farmer should start control measures like use of pesticides.

At this moment, the amount of traps should be increased to about eight to 10 per acre. Those eight can be delta-traps or water traps. The latter, which a farmer can construct himself, use water with some soap to catch the pests.

If catches are above 30 moths per trap a week, the number of traps should be increased to 20 an acre. Lures should be replaced after six weeks, water traps should be refilled with water and soap twice a week during hot periods.

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