Bug traps set for release after trial success

Monitoring traps for two common and destructive pests have been developed following a five-year project, giving growers the promise of timely warning and control.

The traps lure two related bugs - the common green capsid (Lygocoris pabulinus) and the European tarnished plant bug (Lygus rugulipennis) - using a synthesised sex pheromone. Having proved successful in trials, they have now been made available commercially by Agralan.

The European tarnished plant bug has been a particular problem for strawberry growers, causing millions of pounds worth of damage since it first appeared in the UK in the early 1990s.

East Sussex soft fruit grower and industry representative on the project Tom Maynard said: "The development of a trap to detect exactly when the pest appears in the crop is a huge advance for us all."

The project was commissioned through Defra's now-defunct Horticulture LINK programme, supported by researchers, growers and suppliers. It was led by East Malling Research entomologist Dr Michelle Fountain.


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