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57 Ways To Protect Your Home Environment (and Yourself)
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13. Monitor and Control Insects With Traps

codling moth trap

You can monitor or sometimes reduce insect problems by luring insects to traps baited with synthetic versions of the chemicals that they use to communicate with each other. The chemicals most often used for this purpose are “pheromones”–chemical signals produced and received by members of the same insect species.

The most common use of pheromones in insect management is for monitoring insect populations. You can use traps to detect a particular insect in your yard or garden and then determine if and when you need to apply an insecticide. For homeowners and gardeners, pheromone-baited traps are particularly useful in determining when to control insects in fruit and ornamental trees.

baited traps

Depending on the pest, placing numerous traps throughout the yard or garden can sometimes remove enough insects to limit damage. For this to work, however, the traps must be very efficient at capturing a high volume of insects, the population density of the insect you are trying to control must be low, and insect migration into the yard must not replace insects as fast as you can trap them.
baited traps

Combining insect attractants with poison (insecticides) has been practiced for centuries. Poisoned baits can sometimes be used effectively at low rates, often without leaving toxic residues on plants or animals. In some cases, insects take baits back to their nest, poisoning other insects.
red trap

Specific colors are attractive to some day-flying insects. For example, yellow objects attract many insects and are often used in traps designed to detect the flights of aphids and to control adult whiteflies in greenhouses. Red spheres, coated with an adhesive and baited with an attractant, can be used to capture apple maggot flies and limit damage to fruit.
bug zapper

“Bug zappers,” which use lights to lure insects into a device that electrocutes them, are ineffective in most instances. Nevertheless, the positioning of outdoor lights can be important. Placing outdoor lights several feet away from doors reduces the entry of insects into homes and apartments when insects are active around the lights. In addition, yellow light bulbs attract fewer insects than white incandescent lights or fluorescent bulbs.
sticky fly trap

House flies commonly land and rest on narrow, vertical objects. That’s why hanging sticky “fly traps” is sometimes effective in small, closed areas where fly populations are low—a closed porch or similar indoor area.

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