Council of Agriculture successfully develops non-toxic weapon against fall army worm

Researchers at the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Agricultural Chemicals and Toxic Substances Research Institute (TACTRI) have developed trap for fall army worm which they hope to have on the market by June next year.

Considered a serious global pest by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the fall army worm was detected in Taiwan for the first time in June last year, and quickly spread around the island.

The traps developed by TACTRI use a formula based on the fall army worm moth’s sexual pheromones to attract the pest into the trap. Researchers say that field test results from the domestically produced trap show that it is around three times more effective than similar traps manufactured in the United States.

Each trap can catch 20 to 30 moths per day, the researchers claim. The traps are low cost and made of PET plastic, similar to a plastic water bottle. The reusable trap container costs around NT$80. The pheromone bait costs lest than NT$15 per dose, and lasts around one month.

trap for fall army worm
Pheromone-baited trap for fall army worm. Picture: Council of Agriculture.
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