A New-Designed Light Trap for the Control of Potato Tuber Moth, Phthorimaea operculella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), in Stored Potatoes


Potato tuber moth (PTM), Phthorimaea operculella, is one of the most damaging pests of potatoes both in the field and in storage and occurs in almost all potato-producing areas in the world. In stored potatoes in Turkey, management of this pest still relies heavily on the use of synthetic insecticides. However, due to the development of resistance to many insecticides in the populations of this pest, the desired results from chemical control have not been obtained in recent years. In this study, the capture efficiencies of a new-designed light trap and delta pheromone trap were evaluated comparatively in mass trapping of adult PTM in stored potatoes during the storage period from October to December in both 2019 and 2020 in Antalya province (Turkey). Both trap types were tested at a density of 1 trap/15 m2 in both years. The captured moths were counted at weekly intervals during a 2-month sampling period in both years and compared between the two trap types on the basis of weekly mean number per trap. The results indicated that significantly higher numbers of moths per trap were captured in the light trap plots (rooms) than in the pheromone trap plots. The new-designed light trap captured both males and females but had a higher efficacy in capturing females than males. In addition, in both the 2019 and 2020 storage periods, much lower tuber damage rates occurred in the light trap treatment (6.8 and 8.0%, respectively) than in the pheromone trap treatment (19.1 and 21.5%, respectively). The results suggested that the new-designed light trap may help prevent tuber damage caused by PTM in stored potatoes by trapping both male and female moths effectively.