The Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR-IIHR) recently developed the ‘light trap’, a method to kill or get rid of a pest called Tuta Absoluta, that affects tomatoes.
Studies were conducted in a tomato polyhouse and the method proved successful in trapping insects. Tuta Absoluta is a South American moth that rapidly began spreading in India in 2014. It can lead to a loss of 100 per cent yield of tomatoes.
“When we conducted studies, we found that these insects are attracted to the colour yellow. We designed a system where an incandescent light bulb is placed above the plant to attract both male and female insects. Soap water or water containing pesticide is placed at the bottom. Alternatively, a suction is placed with a mesh below, instead of the soapy water bowl. The insects get attracted to the light, hit the surface, lose balance and fall into the mesh or bowl,” said Dr. V Sridhar, principal scientist and secretary, Division of Entomology and Nematology, IIHR.