Automated trap allows you to monitor pests remotelySpensa Technologies, West Lafayette, Ind., has unveiled the Z-Trap, which allows growers and consultants to monitor orchard pests remotely.

Like a regular pheromone trap, the Z-Trap requires a pheromone attractant, says Kim Nicholson, vice president of business development.

Insects fly into impedence sensors, which identify the insects before they drops into a collection container.

Sensors have been calibrated to differentiate among three pests: codling moth, omnivorous leafroller or oriental fruit moth.

The information is relayed to repeaters within the orchard and eventually to the Internet, where users can access it.

"It's not replacing the process. It's about improving the efficiency of the labor," she said.

The pheromone lasts season-long as does a rechargeable battery.

If there is a problem, such as a low battery, the trap will send an alert to the user.

Users can map the trap catches using the mytraps software.

Having the data represented spatially allows users to see if there are hot spots in orchards, if the pests are migrating in from specific directions or whether trends are developing, Nicholson said.

Rather than checking traps weekly, for example, users can remotely check traps daily, allowing them to catch problems much earlier, she said.

The software can be used independent of the traps to map pest catches and trends.

It can be purchased separately, but comes free with the Z-Trap.

The automated traps, which were originally invented by Johnny Park of Purdue University, were developed by researchers from Washington State University, Penn State University and Purdue.

To learn more about the trap and view a video, visit Purdue University.