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Early Detection

Redbay ambrosia beetle trap
Albery Mayfield / USDA Forest Service,
Redbay ambrosia beetle trap

Early detection is key to a rapid response to pest establishment. The sooner an established pest is detected the more likely it can be eradicated. Eradication can be a costly enterprise, so small infestations are also less expensive to treat.

The Forest Service has substantial expertise in insect pest detection. We develop and test insect trap design and placement, and conduct many trials to find the best lures. The lures can be pheromones, chemicals which mimic mating signals the insects use to find mates, or kairomones host volatiles that the insects use to find suitable hosts.

Examples of our detection research include traps for Asian Longhorned Beetle, Walnut Twig Beetle and other wood-boring beetles.