Insect traps – Light traps
Light traps are used to attract and trap night flying insects. It helps in monitoring and mass trapping of both male and female sexes of insect pests.
The light source forms the most important component of light trap. The light source attracts the insects. The light source varies from simple oil lamps to various types of electric bulbs.
Special light sources called black-light have been developed and are particularly efficient to trap Dipteran insects like flies.
Besides the light source, there will be a mechanism to capture and kill the insect. Often this is a container with water that is placed under the light source. The insects that circle around the light will drop into the water and can be collected.
It is also recommended to add a small quantity of soap or kerosene to the water to increase the efficiency of trapping. Sticky plates can also be used in place of water.
The key insect pests like armyworm, bugs, cutworm, flies, leaf hoppers, plant hoppers, stem borers, etc. of almost all crops can be trapped by using the light trap.
Two traps are recommended for one acre. The trap should be fixed right from the beginning of the crop season. It should be fixed 2 to 3 feet above the crop canopy.
The light of the traps should be switched on only between 6 and 9 pm. If it is operated beyond 9 pm, there are chances that the beneficial insects will also get trapped and killed.
The light trap should be used only in situations when other light sources (houses, street lights) are not in vicinity.