Moroccan Greenhouse Successfully Fights Tuta Pests
Russell IPM recently launched the upgraded OPTIROLL Super sticky traps, well received by growers worldwide, and they also offer solutions specific to one of the most devastating and fastest spreading pests of our age, Tuta absoluta.
Yellow Sticky Trap
Tuta absoluta is a serious invasive pest of tomatoes and potatoes. The problems associated with Tuta absoluta are its rapid population multiplication (up to 12 generations in 1 year) and its ability to develop resistance toward synthetic insecticides within few generations. After devastating tomato production in South America for years, it was introduced accidentally to Spain in 2006. Since then it has spread rapidly to main tomato production in Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean region and beyond. Recent reports on presence of the pest in Tanzania have sent shock waves through the agricultural world as farmers struggle to protect their livelihoods and also to keep their prices within reach of the average consumer.
For the Tuta pest, Russell IPM developed a full range of solutions to halt the pest at various stages in development.
Clear Sticky Trap
For the adult stage they have developed a sticky fly roll called Tuta+ which incorporates pheromones to specifically attract the pest. As with standard rolls, the yellow colour of the trap has the advantage of attracting whitefly and aphids while the incorporated pheromone attracts Tuta absoluta, with the advantage of a significant reduction and a more cost-effective control where these 3 pests are present.
Russell IPM’s Tuta+ is commonly used in mass trapping by farmers including the Moroccan greenhouse grower Hahou Abdellah. In Morocco, Tuta+ pheromone traps have been found a very efficient and helpful tool to control the pests and reduce crop damage.
“We grow several kind of crops in the open field and in greenhouses in the regions around Agadir and Dakhla. Our production areas cover a few hundred hectares and we have to deal with many pests and diseases. In order to fight pests like Tuta Absoluta and whiteflies we have been using Tuta+ for a while with good results. This has led towards an improvement in our greenhouse output. There are less pests and we achieve a better yield and higher overall product quality.”
Control and monitoring of Tuta absoluta is one of Russell IPM’s areas of expertise and they are continually looking to improve the plight of farmers dealing with this pest. For greenhouses working with beneficials, Russell IPM developed the Tuta roll, which is a clear sticky roll with pheromones incorporated to the sticky surface.
Newest to the Tuta range is the Tuta black – a new version of the Tuta roll which is already proving popular. Recents trials in Spain indicated a high capture rate and the new product is already receiving a lot of interest from farmers who want to find the most up to date and effective methods of protecting crops.
Russell IPM are extending their reach into the horticulture and agriculture market, having recently introduced the OPTIROLL Super for whiteflies and thrips. Equipped with additional visual attraction to catch more insects, the capture rate of OPTIROLL Super can be twice as high as that of non-patterned sticky traps. “The secret is the pattern on the trap,” Dr Al Zaidi of Russell IPM said. “During our research we discovered that insects are more likely to be found caught on the borders of the sticky trap because they are more triggered by contrasting colours. Afterwards we experimented with different horizontal and vertical lines and circles until we found the right ratio of contrasting patterns.”