Sunday, 15 May 2016

2016 Staff at Beaverlodge - Kaitlin

My name is Kaitlin.  I am currently working on my Bachelor of Science in Registered Nursing degree. This will be my third year returning to work with the Integrated Pest Management program here on the Beaverlodge Research Farm and I am very excited for what the summer has in store for us! 

This week we have been very busy with setting up new Prairie Pest Monitoring Network sites for our weekly field monitoring! With the early heat, it is important that we set up our sites ahead of schedule this year, as the insects will become active sooner. We have seven monitoring sites set up in the Beaverlodge area, one near Valleyview, and two in British Columbia near Dawson Creek and Fort St. John.  Our sites are located in producer-cooperator fields. 

The monitoring sites we have set up so far include Flea Beetle traps, Diamond Back Moth traps, and a few contain Pea Leaf Weevil pitfall traps. The Flea Beetle traps consist of small bright yellow cards covered in a very sticky substance called tanglefoot. The colour of the card attracts the Flea Beetles and the tanglefoot traps them to it. The Diamond Back Moth traps are made up of white Delta traps that we bait with a pheromone lure which attracts male Diamond Back Moths plus a sticky card to that traps the moths. The Pea Leaf Weevil pitfall traps are buckets placed into the ground containing RV antifreeze, and a aggregation pheromone lure to attract the PLW. We then place chicken wire over the trap opening to protect small animals and frogs from falling in. 

Figure 1. Busy setting up an Alpha Scents sticky card to monitor Flea Beetles. 
When setting up our PPMN sites, producer-cooperator sites are selected according to the insect we plan to monitor. The traps need to be placed a certain distance away from each other since some lures will be rendered ineffective if they overlap. The Flea Beetle sticky card traps are spaced 25m apart to monitor activity (Figure 1).  Diamond Back Moth traps are spaced 50m apart from each other and can be overlapped with the Flea Beetle traps.  Pea Leaf Weevil traps can similarly be overlapped with Flea Beetle sticky card traps.  Sanitation is very important in the prevention of spreading crop or soil diseases when we enter and exit fields so we wear white Tyvek booties to prevent transmission.

As the summer continues we will be deploying different types of traps for monitoring different insects.

Follow this link to find more information on Flea BeetlesDiamond Back MothPea Leaf Weevil.

- Kaitlin