New lures use pheromones to trap and monitor bugs

NEW innovative lures for trapping major horticultural pests will soon give growers an effective tool for better on-farm integrated pest management.

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry business manager Jodie Campbell said the new traps would help growers control both banana spotting bugs and fruit spotting bugs, leading to less crop damage and improved productivity.

"Banana spotting bugs and fruit spotting bugs are two major pests of a wide range of tropical and subtropical crops including avocado, macadamia, papaya, mango, limes and custard apples," she said.

"These pests were notoriously difficult to monitor, which is a large reason why growers in tropical and sub-tropical regions of Australia were forced to use broad-spectrum cover sprays.

"After more than 20 years of research and development, DAFF entomologists are now seeing very promising results from these new lures that use pheromones to trap and monitor the bugs.

"The pheromone lures have been effective in attracting both male and female spotting bugs and the 'sticky panel' trap component we designed is highly effective at catching these bugs.

"We are now at the stage of working with a commercial partner to maximise the potential of the lures to benefit the Australian horticultural industry.

"This is great news for growers, who will be able to access this technology from around mid-2015."

Organic Crop Protectants was selected as the commercial partner to take the innovative lure technology to the market.

"OCP is a well-qualified company that has been commercially focused in the business of integrated pest and disease management for over 20 years," Ms Campbell said.

"OCP's plan will be to support further research and optimise the lures and traps into an integrated pest management system.

"The aim is to provide effective integrated pest management tools that give farmers better confidence to make the transition to more sustainable farming practices."

The selection of OCP as the commercial partner for the new traps was undertaken through an open, competitive tender process by DAFF and Horticulture Australia.

For more information, phone 132 523.

Topics:  avocado bugs farmers limes macadamia mango

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