Are more visible traps more effective?

Most insect traps are visually poorly attractive. Only 10-15% of the insects are actually trapped and sometimes this figure is even lower. The scents used to lure insects may effectively lure them from a distance to the trap but the visual properties of the current traps do rarely encourage them to land on the trap. This project examines the extent to which a more visible insect trap can increase the effectiveness of these traps.

While the scents currently used in insect traps do indeed lure insects towards the trap, research has shown that the poor visibility of the trap itself reduces its effectiveness. Insects can only see a limited number of wavelengths, different from humans. Brightness, wavelength, background, shape, and patterns all determine the visibility of a trap. What we don't know, however, is whether and how insects use these aspects to orient themselves and the role this plays in the process they use to decide whether or not to land on a trap.