Testing different types of SMART trap

Monitoring pest insects within crops can be very informative but also very time consuming, particularly if the crops are distributed over a wide area. SMART traps are generally traps that can be observed remotely, so that field visits are minimised. To date, the traps that are on the market use cameras, powered by solar cells, to take images of trapping surfaces and send them to a website where they can be viewed at any time. The trapping surfaces are usually sticky traps and insects are attracted to the traps by smell (usually pheromone) or vision (coloured trap). The systems are improving all the time in terms of image quality, identification and recording of the insects captured, and management of the trapping surface (e.g. automatic replacement). There is great potential for insect identification through machine learning and methods are being developed to identify insects through their wingbeat frequency. SMART traps are particularly useful for monitoring pest insects whose pattern of activity is unpredictable such as the moths Plutella xylostella and Autographa gamma which are migrants to, and within, Europe. Both species can be monitored effectively with SMART pheromone traps.