CDFA Plant Health


wedge Pest Hotline: 1-800-491-1899


Trapping is the foundation of the PBW Program. Early detection of non-sterile "wild" or "native" adult PBW moths allows program personnel time to adjust sterile release in order to control incipient infestations. Trapping is also the primary tool in monitoring sterile release, if releases were to occur, the PBW Program would monitor the recapture.

Pink Bollworm Trap

The Delta Trap

The PBW Program uses a delta trap made of cardboard that is sticky on all three inside surfaces. A pheromone lure that attracts male PBW moths is placed inside of the trap. The traps are placed over the first cotton plant at the end of a row or the first plant at the edge of the field. The trap is suspended over the cotton plant in a manner that permits the trapper to service it without touching the cotton foliage. Traps are serviced biweekly. If they contain moths that look similar to PBW, the trap is replaced and the traps containing specimens are sent to a laboratory for identification by an entomologist.

Trap in Cotton Field

The Pheromone Lure

A pheromone is a substance secreted by an organism to affect the behavior or development of other organisms of the same species. In the PBW, it is a chemical released by the female moth to attract male PBWs. The lure used by the PBW Program is a synthetic chemical with the same structure and activity as the natural pheromone.

The Trapper

The PBW Program trapper is responsible for about 400 traps. Traps are serviced biweekly, and all of the traps are replaced every four weeks. Trap inspection is never finished. It is mandatory that the trappers check all "serviceable" traps in four (10 hour) working days. Traps are unserviceable when the field is too wet to safely approach the trap or the road is blocked. The trappers are required to return to unserviceable traps later in the week and try again. If these traps are still not accessible, a supervisor is notified.

Maps of the Trapping Zone

The trapper prepares two accurate maps of their trapping zone showing the location and number of each trap. One of the maps is a field copy and the other is an office copy for staff use. The base map used to plot the location of each trap is a custom map showing the location and shape of the cotton fields in the trapping zone. The maps are kept current and accurate throughout the trapping season.

Charts and Maps