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Eleven pairs of eyes, no moth goes unseen

In greenhouse horticulture, there is a bustling population of flying insects which may or may not be considered a threat to the crops. As a company with a background in airborne technology, there was much to learn initially about the airborne biology within the greenhouse. Over the past six years, significant progress has been made in this field. However, we remain open to opportunities to learn more about specific pests and contribute to the knowledge of these insects within the industry.

One such opportunity is participating in the PPP project "Masterplan Rupsenbestrijding" (Masteplan Caterpillar control). This project focuses on finding an integrated, biological, pest management strategy for the Tomato looper (Chrysodeixis chalcites) and the European pepper moth (Duponchelia fovealis). These pests are real troublemakers in for example gerbera and bell pepper cultivation.

Our contribution to this project involves monitoring adult moths and gaining insight into the behaviour and preferences, particularly of the Tomato looper. Where do they prefer to be within the greenhouse? How and where do they enter? And is there a particular cultivar that is more attractive to them?

 

Additionally, we also measure the development of populations and generations based on flight activity. Based on our experiences so far, we expect to be able to

PATS-C installation at Oudijk Gerbera

realise an initial predictive model. With this, we anticipate being able to provide an indication of when the first moth eggs will be laid and when larvae hatch. This enables more precise timing of biological interventions, which is key to a successful strategy.

 

For this project, we started mid-2023 by installing 22 PATS-C systems at two gerbera growers: Oudijk Gerbera in Moerkapelle and LG Flowers in Pijnacker, both situated in the Netherlands. Each company has eleven systems. This provides us with extensive monitoring of approximately one hectare (10.000m2) at each location. Of these eleven systems, nine are placed throughout the greenhouse, one is placed at the ridge to measure moth influx, and one is on the other side of the facade to monitor the outside situation. This gives us a complete overview of what is happening both in- and outside the greenhouse.

The initial results show that moths have preferred spots in the greenhouse. To distinguish the exact reason for this, we continue doing research. It is possible that it is related to a temperature difference between the north and south sides, different attractiveness of cultivars, or collisions with the facade, leading to increased counts on the PATS-C systems.

PATS-C systeem at LG Flowers

Until May 2025, the PATS-C systems will continue to monitor moth flight patterns. During and after this period all data will be analysed, hopefully providing many new insights into the behaviours of these two pests. The goal is to better align the use of biological crop protection with the integrated management of these pests.

 

The project is funded by "Kennis in je Kas" (Knowledge in your Greenhouse). We collaborate on this project with Wageningen Plant Research, the Cooperatives of Gerbera, Bell Pepper, and Orchids, Glastuinbouw Nederland, Andermatt, various growers, and cultivation and crop protection consultants.

You can reach us directly by phone between 9.00 - 17.00

We will contact you as soon as possible

Located at Delftechpark

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