Did you know that pest insects causing huge losses for strawberry and raspberry farmers can be trapped using a special ‘insect perfume’? Researchers in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Switzerland and Latvia are working with a company producing insect traps to develop the perfect trap for three major pest insects for these crops. They have already found promising mixes of natural scents produced by strawberry plants and the insects themselves. They are working on finding the most effective density and placement of the traps in the fields. In addition, they are designing the trap so that it will trap just the pest insects, and not beneficial insects such as bees. This approach to pest control is especially relevant for organic producers, but it may be equally interesting to regular soft fruit growers, as it may reduce or altogether avoid the need for insecticide spraying.
For more information, please contact Atle Wibe, coordinator of the project, which is called ‘softpest multitrap’, and is funded by the CORE Organic ERANET