Sunday, February 22, 2009

Using Yellow sticky traps in controlling insects

Yellow Sticky Traps in Hydroponics and Field - By Pritham "metal farmer" Dsouza

One of the most damaging insect pests seen on crops like Egg plants (brinjal), chilli, capsicum, tomato & leafy vegetables like amaranthus, spinach etc is the pesky white fly.

these white flies are very small & in most cases appear like flying power or dust when the plant is shaken or when watering is done. the chemical treatment is using systemic insecticides like dimethoate & malathion, which is simply toxic & very labour intensive.

a very simple method is by using sticky traps as seen below.

for the above trap, i took discarded cornflakes box & flattened them. then using scissors, i cut out the required amount of yellow plastic sheet (easily available in the market) and stapled it to the cardboard box as seen.

then using a gun tacker i stapled it to a long stick as shown.

making it sticky : i then added 1 tiny spoon of used vegetable oil, and smeared the entire yellow sheet both front and back and planted it firmly in my brinjal garden.

the next day, i could see thousands of tiny white spots all spread over the sticky trap. (click on photo to enlarge)

my first impression was , it could have been dust. but on a closer look, it turned out to be the pesky white fly which got caught in the sticky trap & choked to death.(click on photo to enlarge)

the above pic shows an area of about 2 sq inches. (click on photo to enlarge)

why yellow plastic is used? - thats because insects have a special liking to the color yellow. it distracts them from the main plants & turns their attention to a nice big bright yellow death trap, kinda the same effect a light bulb has on night moths & night insects.
since the surface is sticky, the tiny feet & wings get & they die due to suffocation on the oily surface.
This is by far the best method in controlling white flies. its safe, non toxic, chemical & pesticide free & the yellow plastic sheet can be used for upto a month.

it can be re used by washing the sticky trap with soap water, and following the same methods as suggested above.

all content and photos by Pritham Dsouza


  1. laudable innovative effort! We need more and more such simple, non-toxic experiments.

    - Shree Padre, Editor, Adike Patrike

  2. thats the beauty of hydroponics, what works with hydro , works with field agriculture,... there are several more simple, non toxic methods on several aspects, on pest control, etc etc, which i intend to show everyone..... in the coming posts... so stay tuned.