Visually and olfactorily enhanced attractive devices for thrips management

Robert W.H.M. van Tol*, Melanie M. Davidson, Ruth C. Butler, David A.J. Teulon, Willem Jan de Kogel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


‘Lure-and-infect’ is an insect pest management strategy with high potential but so far there are few examples of its application. Using traps as surrogates for auto-dissemination devices, we tested the attractiveness to naturally occurring thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) of three trap types differing in colour and structure, with and without the thrips lure methyl isonicotinate (MI), and sticky plate traps as a control. The aim was to find more effective traps that could be further developed into devices for auto-dissemination and lure-and-infect of thrips. The number of thrips captured varied substantially with trap type and the presence of the MI lure. We found a high visual response to a sticky ‘white ruffle’ trap (i.e., a 30-cm-long cylindrical outline of folded fabric), compared to a commonly used blue sticky plate trap (Bug-scan) as the control. This effect was seen both in a greenhouse with roses (Rosa spp.), where we encountered western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), and in a grass field, where we encountered onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman, and New Zealand flower thrips, Thrips obscuratus (Crawford). In the absence of MI, the white ruffle trap caught 7–22× more thrips than the control Bug-scan trap. A similarly designed blue ruffle trap and a modified Lynfield trap caught lower thrips numbers than the white ruffle and the control Bug-scan traps. Presence of MI substantially increased the captures of T. tabaci in all three trap types in the field (2.5–18×). In the greenhouse, without MI the white ruffle trap caught 3.5–14× more thrips than the Bug-scan, blue ruffle, or modified Lynfield traps. Presence of MI increased the captures of F. occidentalis males and females in the Lynfield and blue ruffle traps (1.4–2.8×), but not in the white ruffle trap in the greenhouse (ca. 1.1×). The importance of visual and olfactory factors for the design of effective auto-dissemination and lure-and-infect strategies for thrips management is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-677
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Issue number9
Early online date6 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • auto-dissemination
  • colour
  • Frankliniella occidentalis
  • lure-and-infect
  • methyl isonicotinate
  • monitoring
  • olfaction
  • pest management strategy
  • semiochemical
  • sticky plate trap
  • Thripidae
  • Thrips obscuratus
  • Thrips tabaci
  • Thysanoptera


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