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Semiochemicals in IPM

Gaschromatograph in our lab.
Headspace collection setup in the vegetable entomology lab.

We are exploring the role of volatiles, either plant or insect derived, in pest management. Using baits in traps is essential in most pest management programs to effectively time control measures. We take air samples from the headspace of plants and/or insects and analyze them to determine their chemical composition. Following this, we conduct behavioral essays where the response of the insect to different volatiles is determined. Once behaviorally active compounds are identified, field tests are carried out with a lure and trap. The results ideally lead to commercially viable lures and traps that growers may use for their everyday decision-making.