How to make your own insect pest traps

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How do insect traps work?

Insect traps lure and kill insects as they get stuck to the sticky sides of the trap. Traps are used to observe the populations of pests to inform home gardeners on when controls should be used.

Many insect traps are general traps, however some are species specific. For example, codling moth traps lure male moths to traps by releasing a pheromone over time. Similarly, the Queensland Fruit Fly traps are designed to trap the males of each species, therefore minimising the number of pregnant females available to lay eggs. These kinds of traps use attractants that are species specific, therefore, you are unlikely to see a range of pest species in a trap designed for one species.

More general traps that capture a range of insects, such as sticky traps, are usually only used for monitoring because they rely on an insect passing by for capture.

PlantNet focuses on species specific traps that are effective for pests that may impact our range of deciduous fruit trees. Our codling moth traps are ideal for home gardeners with a handful of fruit trees. Pheromone lures used in high density (eg one trap for two trees) will confuse codling moths and reduce their impact on fruit.

Whilst a home gardener generally won’t be able to synthesise the pheromone of a moth in their kitchen, there are a few traps you can make from home that will reduce your spendings on pest control.

Make your own trap

An alternative to buying traps is to make your own sticky traps (i.e. use a plastic container such as a takeaway food container as the trap and purchase sheets of sticky paper from a hardware store from their pest products section) and then purchase the lures from PlantNet.
Making a DIY trap for all insect pests:
  1. Select a plastic container as pictured, rectangular or round.
  2. Cut or melt a 30 to 40mm hole in the middle of the top and the middle of the bottom of the container (these are the pest access holes).
  3. Pierce a small hole in the middle of one side and thread a cord through it to attach the trap to your fruit tree.
  4. Lay sticky paper as shown around the whole of the inside of the trap to catch insect pests.
  5. Place the insect lure into the trap on the sticky paper to attract the insects.
You can purchase lures for your trap here, and view a list of common pests and control options here.

Replacement Lures

PlantNet also offers replacement lures for Codling Moth traps. Each pack has 3 lures which will last one season (each lure will last 4 weeks so a total of 12 weeks for one pack).