What a trap

Published: Wednesday 31 July 1996

farmers in the district of Salem, Tamil Nadu, have shown that it is possible to farm without using pesticides and have thus proven that eco-farming is a possibility even in water-starved regions like this district. Cotton is a lucrative cash crop for Salem farmers but it also attracts its fair share of pests. One way of controlling these pests is by using pesticides. However, apart from the environmental hazards, often over-usage of the chemicals induces resistance. These farmers have stumbled upon an innovative method of using pheromones to trap male insect moths. Male moths, lured by a synthetic pheromone odour emitted by the female, are trapped in a simple devise called 'pheromone traps'. This results in unproductive females and hence curtails the laying of eggs. The method has been particularly effective in the case of two polyphagus pests, gram pod borer and protenia. Pheromene traps cost only Rs 7 each and should be replaced every 20-25 days.

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