WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A newly created electronic insect trapping invention has the potential to automatically watch over pest populations and cut down on the amount of insecticides put out in the environment.
The Z-trap, an agricultural insect trapping device, detects the number of target insects captured by the trap and sends that data wirelessly to the grower's mobile phone or computer.
The trap is a Purdue discovery being commercialized in Purdue Research Park by Spensa Technologies, Inc.
"Tracking insect populations is a fundamental part of any pest management program and being able to track those numbers in real time electronically through a smart phone or a computer helps growers choose how to use insecticides more judiciously," Spensa president and CEO and Purdue research assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering Johnny Park said. "This device enables growers to electronically monitor insect populations, reduces the amount of chemicals emitted in agricultural fields, lowers labor costs and reduces the amount of insecticides purchased by growers."
In 2010, U.S. crop growers lost $20 billion to insect damage. Park says they also spent $4.5 billion on insecticides.
"Currently the technology is being used to collect data on codling moths, Oriental fruit moths and leaf rollers in apple orchards," Spensa Technologies vice president of products Tom Puterbaugh said. "But Z-Trap will eventually be used to collect insect data from other types of crops including almond, walnut, orange, pear, grape, cherry, vegetable, corn, soybeans and many other stored products."
Z-Trap is being commercialized through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. For more information, contact Jon Gortat, project manager II, (765) 588-3485, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Z-Trap can be used in conjunction with MyTraps.com, an online app that helps growers and pesticide consultants track the number of insects for any agricultural crops. The technology is available as an online subscription service.
"Z-Trap is a hardware that collects insect data and MyTraps.com is a software that presents the data to growers and consultants so they can make insightful decisions about insect control," Park said.
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