Monitor Black Light Data

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Image of black light in field

Example of black light Source: N.C. Cooperative Extension of Pasquotank County

Monitoring black lights results affords the opportunity to evaluate key insect pest intensity and duration. With time, data can be compared among years and other light traps across the state. Using this data along with scouting can prevent economic loss from insect pests.

Several key factors worthy of mention when reviewing the NC State University website are stated below.

  • Make sure to examine/select the desired pest from the menu on the left. By default, the “Corn Earworm” (CEW) is selected.
  • By default, the current year is shown. For previous years, simply choose from the drop-down dialog box.
  • The corn earworm and tobacco budworm are different caterpillar pests. However, some locations separate these two pests while others do not.
  • Each location can be used to exemplify trends for that area but comparison of specific populations or pest between locations should be made with caution. As an example, one location may be ideally located to capture CEW and may peak with several hundred CEW per night. Another location may be less suited to capture CEW and may peak at fifty per night. Both may represent the same CEW population feeding on the crop. Thus, comparing the intensity of the CEW population between the traps may or may not be accurate. Conversely, comparison of the date each location peaks should be more accurate.
  • Some pest results are strongly correlated to the actual field population while others do no. As an example, the CEW strongly correlates to field moth activity. Stinkbug catches may or may not. Hornworm catches correlate weakly in some locations and more strongly in others. The point is to use the data for the light trap nearest you and then scout fields to confirm black light results.

You can review black light data within NC, here:

2018 Trap Data