|dc.description.abstract||Management of pest species is ordinarily required in the production of protected crops.
Integrated pest management (IPM) is commonly used when controlling insects. The
European Union Sustainable Use Directives states that "integrated pest management’ means
careful consideration of all available plant protection methods and subsequent integration of
appropriate measures that discourage the development of populations of harmful organisms
and keep the use of plant protection products and other forms of intervention to levels that
are economically and ecologically justified and reduce or minimise risks to human health
and the environment. ‘Integrated pest management’ emphasises the growth of a healthy crop
with the least possible disruption to agro-ecosystems and encourages natural pest control
mechanisms.” Effectively monitoring pests is a key component of IPM, with decisions to use
biological control agents (BCA) and insecticides often based on the presence of pests in
traps. A commonly used monitoring tool is the sticky trap; these traps are coloured and rely
primarily on their visual attractiveness to the pest.
The capture efficiency of sticky traps can potentially be increased with the addition of light
emitting diodes (LEDs). The objective of this project was to use LEDs to enhance the
efficacy of yellow sticky traps for trapping a range of insect pests, to enable more effective
timing of pest management by optimising pest monitoring. The addition of LEDs may also
enable more effective mass trapping via yellow sticky traps, and minimize the trapping of
Comparisons between standard yellow sticky traps and those equipped with green (540 nm)
or blue (480 nm) LEDs were carried out at four commercial growing facilities. Green (540
nm) LED equipped traps were compared with standard yellow traps in a mass release of the
biological control agent Encarsia formosa Gahan (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae), to determine
if there are negative consequences to the addition of green (540 nm) LEDs when using this
biological control agent. Relative spectral preferences of western flower thrips (Frankliniella
occidentalis Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidea)) and Glasshouse whitefly (Trialeurodes
vaporariorum Westwood (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)) were determined using a choice test
comparing a range of wavelengths in 20 nm steps against a control wavelength.
Green (540 nm), and blue (480 nm) LED equipped traps captured significantly more dark-winged
fungus gnats (Bradysia difformis Frey (Sciaridae: Diptera)) and diamondback moths
(Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus) (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae)) than those without. No significant
differences were found between green (540 nm) LED equipped traps and those without for
E. formosa, and a significant decrease in the capture of the shore fly parasitoid Kleidotoma
psiloides Westwood (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) was observed. In behavioural experiments F.
occidentalis showed a peak spectral preference at 360, 420, and 480 nm, and T.
vaporariorum at 320, 340, and 380 nm.
The addition of LEDs to yellow sticky traps enhanced their capture efficiency for some key
pests in commercial protected crop growing environments, and has the potential to enable
pest detection at an early stage, consequently optimising the timing of pest management