Evaluation of color traps for monitoring Lygus spp. Design, placement, height, time of day, and non-target effects

Jacquelyn L. Blackmer, John A. Byers, Cesar Rodriguez-Saona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Lygus hesperus and Lygus lineolaris are two of the most economically important plant bugs in North America. Here we present results from field trials that evaluated effective trap characteristics for maximizing Lygus spp. and other herbivorous insect capture, while minimizing beneficial insect capture. The response of lygus bugs, several other key herbivore species and predators to hue (white, clear, black, yellow, orange, blue, purple, green and red) and value (black, white and two neutral grays) was examined in alfalfa over three seasons using traps coated with Pestick adhesive. Lygus spp. exhibited a broad response to trap hue, but showed no response to trap value. Additionally, we showed that time of day, trap height and trap placement influenced the number of Lygus spp. captured. More Lygus spp. were trapped from late afternoon to dusk compared to all other times of the day, and more males than females were captured on sticky traps even though the sexes were at parity in field sweep net samples. In the alfalfa setting, male lygus were more likely to be captured on traps placed 20 cm above the ground; traps placed 50 and 100 cm above the ground caught similar numbers of males and females. The highest number of plant bugs was captured when traps were placed in a cleared area between two alfalfa fields; lower numbers were captured on traps at the edge and in the center of the field. All other herbivores exhibited distinct preferences to trap hue and, in some cases, trap value. Predators were rarely trapped, but did exhibit preferences to trap color (i.e., hue and value) characteristics. The potential of using sticky traps with specific hue and value characteristics to monitor Lygus spp. effectively is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-181
Number of pages11
JournalCrop Protection
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


  • Alfalfa
  • Natural enemies
  • Spectroradiometer
  • Sticky traps
  • Visual cues
  • Western tarnished plant bug

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