Optimization of trap color for emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

J Econ Entomol. 2010 Aug;103(4):1235-41. doi: 10.1603/ec10088.


Field assays were performed to determine the optimal color for Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) traps. Previous studies have found that more A. planipennis are caught on purple or green traps than traps of other colors. In three studies, we evaluated various shades of purple, wavelengths of green (500-570 nm), and greens of different reflectance (from 9 to 66%). In all tests, traps of corrugated plastic in standard, commercially available purple (currently used to survey A. planipennis) and a customized green color were used as bases for comparison. Among purple traps, a paint color previously shown to be generally attractive to buprestids caught significantly more A. planipennis adults than traps coated with paints containing more blue or red, or traps constructed of the standard purple plastic. Among traps with maximum reflectance at varying green wavelengths, those ranging in wavelength from 525 to 540 nm caught significantly more adult A. planipennis than traps of other wavelengths. In the 530-540 nm range of the electromagnetic spectrum, there was no significant difference among traps in the 23-66% reflectance range, but traps painted with a peak reflectance of 49% caught more beetles than purple or the custom green plastic traps. Male to female ratio was highest on green traps.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Coleoptera / physiology*
  • Color
  • Female
  • Insect Control / instrumentation*
  • Insect Control / methods
  • Male
  • Pest Control, Biological / methods*