Scout Crop Bugs With Your Smartphone?

MyTraps insect-catching traps relay trap activity to a satellite, then to your smartphone.

Published on: Apr 23, 2013

You may soon be able to say "goodbye" to your sweep net and "hello" to your smartphone. The scouting technology has arrived. GPS-linked traps can report bug-catching numbers via a smartphone app.

Insects figure out how to mutate and get around genetically-modified-resistance traits if those traits aren't managed properly. But can those pests outwit a "super app" for smartphones that allows super-efficient scouting with insect traps that transmit real-time information on insect activity?

Not with MyTraps. You purchase transmitter-equipped traps, like the one pictured, plus a Web-based subscription service at www.mytraps.com, explains Johnny Park, president and CEO of Spensa Technologies Inc., a Purdue University Research Park-based company in West Lafayette, Ind. They're already in use in fruit orchards.

AN E-TRAP FOR BUGS: This transmitter-equipped insect trap relays trap activity info to a smartphone app or web browser software.
AN E-TRAP FOR BUGS: This transmitter-equipped insect trap relays trap activity info to a smartphone app or web browser software.

Then the online tool allows growers and consultants to retrieve insect trap data through a smartphone or Web browser. You can set it up to track insect movement from fields or blocks long distances apart.

MyTraps web application allows you to manage trap data and pesticide records without relying on a spreadsheet to make pest management decisions, says Park. It offers a powerful visualization tool to instantly capture spatial and temporal trends of pest populations.

The MyTraps interface is split into two separate functions. The top-half of the screen is the graph display, and the bottom-half is the map display.

The data can even be entered into field reports. The goal, says Park, is to develop a more efficient trigger for when to spray.

The mobile app is currently only available at the Apple App Store, and supports only iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Once installed, you can use the app to access your MyTraps account from your mobile device. This allows you to record trap data directly from the field to your MyTraps account.

The insect traps are available from the MyTraps company.