MF Trap in Tree
MF Trap in Tree

Help Hosting Insect Traps

Author: Karen Lowerison
Date: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:50 AM

Agriculture Official Seeks the Public's Help in Searching for Detrimental Insect Pests


The pleasant climate and the diversity of crops and landscape plants that appeal to residents of San Luis Obispo County also appeal to invasive and destructive insect pests and plant diseases. In 2016, over 7600 San Luis Obispo County residents volunteered to help search for exotic, destructive insects by participating in the County Department of Agricultural/Weights and Measures’ Pest Detection Trapping Program. Over 3700 traps total were placed and moved in and out of yards throughout the county. “As the 2017 trapping season gets underway, we are looking for residents that want to volunteer their trees or yard as monitoring sites for our insect traps. We rely on a tremendous level of participation from residents that allow my staff to hang insect traps in fruit trees and ornamental plants throughout the county”, said Martin Settevendemie, County Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer. Traps for exotic insects such as Mediterranean, Oriental, Mexican and Melon Fruit Flies, Asian Citrus Psyllid, Gypsy Moth, Japanese Beetle, Glassy-winged sharpshooter and Light Brown Apple Moth were checked 69,842 times in 2016 by Pest Detection Trappers from the Agricultural Commissioner’s office. This partnership with residents allows the department to meet state and federal mandates.

The most common type of insect trap used is a triangular shaped, open ended cardboard box with a sticky surface that holds an insect attractant lure. Larger, bright yellow sticky sheets of cardboard are also used. The traps are usually placed out of reach of children and pets.

Early detection efforts such as the ongoing trapping program protect local agriculture and common home grown fruits and vegetables by intercepting pests at their lowest populations, increasing the likelihood of successful eradication of pest introductions. Community participation strengthens the detection program, supports local agricultural producers and helps protect the environment”, continued Settevendemie. The county operates the trapping program in cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Anyone interested in hosting insect traps is asked to contact the County Agricultural Commissioner’s office at (805) 781 5910. For more information visit the County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures Insect Trapping Program.