Hessian fly surveillance and smart-traps

The Hessian fly, Mayetiola destructor, is a major pest of wheat, reducing yields in many of the major wheat producing countries around the world. There are no documented reports of this pest in Australia yet increasing efficiency in surveillance strategies are important for early detection and mitigation. With an expansive land mass and multiple ports of entry, efficient and cost effective strategies are needed to monitor for this exotic pest. The aim of this research is to examine trap design, deployment strategies, and reporting systems to develop cheap and efficient devices for monitoring invasion of the Hessian fly. Lab and field tests will be conducted in Kansas to assess different aspects of trap design (i.e. light, color, and olfactory cues) and deployment strategies (i.e. spatial placement or arrangement, trap height, etc.) using natural populations. Field trials will compliment lab and green house studies to test the functionality and effectiveness of traps over large wheat production areas in Kansas. The goal of this project is to develop traps under real-world environmental conditions and recommend deployment strategies across vital wheat-producing regions in Australia that are based on sound, biological principles. This project is funded by the Australian Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (http://www.pbcrc.com.au/research/project/62066).