Baits to attract and kill pests

Certain insects can be controlled by using baits. Baits often consists of a substance to attract the insects mixed with an insecticide to kill them. Often used attractants are based on bran and sugar.

For example: Mix 100 gram bran, 10 gram sugar and 200 ml water thoroughly with an insecticide. The resulting bait should contain between 0.5 and 1.5 % active ingredient.

The mixture is then distributed in the field near the threatened plants to kill insects that are attracted by the bait. The use of this type of baits is recommended against mole crickets, millipedes, cutworms (for example Agrotis spp.), grasshoppers and locusts.

Cutworm on seedling
Cutworm (Agrotis) feeding on a seedling. Cutworms can be controlled with baits.

Fruit flies are sometimes causing damage to the fruits of Cucurbits (bitter gourd, rib gourd, etc.). Adult females deposit their eggs on the fruits. The maggots bore in the fruits, where they feed and develop. Damage often becomes more serious because of developing bacteria or fungal infections.

Fruit fly
Fruit fly

Adult fruit flies are attracted by the smell of sweet fruit pulp. Poisoned baits can be made by mixing some pesticide (e.g. dipterex, which is very effective against flies) with some fruit pulp. The bait can be placed near the plants on a small tray, which is protected against rain by a simple “roof”. Make sure that it will not be eaten by other animals (e.g. dogs, goats) and keep it away from children.

Baits are used in traps
This trap uses mango fruit juice as a bait to attract fruit fly adults.
The flies enter the trap through the holes, then fall in the juice and die.

Another way to lure insects to a trap is by using pheromones.

In the control of rodent pests (rats, mice) baits are regularly used. Often these are poisoned, but baits can also serve as a lure inside a trap.