The effectiveness of pheromone traps in controlling the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta, in the United Arab Emirates.
The development of new operational techniques for monitoring adult populations of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is regarded as a pressing need for surveillance and control of this major pest of tomato crops. Trap design is an important component of a monitoring or mass trapping system, along with the semiochemical attractant. Here, we present the results of an experiment carried out in tomato farms to assess the efficacy of a newly designed pheromone trap (i.e., sticky trap) in capturing T. absoluta adults and compare it to traditional pheromone traps. Analysis of variance demonstrated significant differences in the number of captures between the three traps. The mean (± SE) number of captures/trap/week in sticky traps was 70.44 ± 4.57, significantly higher than those captured in delta traps (55.94 ± 4.77) and water pan traps (18.63 ± 1.49). The results showed that the newly designed pheromone trap is a promising solution to lessen T. absoluta populations, thereby protecting tomato crops from infestations.