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Sexual pheromone diffuser of the species Tuta absoluta to attract males, with a duration of 60 days in normal field conditions...

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Data sheet

Target pest Tomato tuber moth
Duration 60 days

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Sexual pheromone diffuser of the species Tuta absoluta to attract males, with a duration of 60 days in normal field conditions.

Diffuser of natural rubber in capsule-shape. It is packaged individually in an aluminium sachet with labelled instructions. Once taken out of the sachet, the diffuser does not need any activation operation. Simply place it directly in the trap

Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) is a serious tomato pest which also causes damage to potatoes and may use other Solanaceae as host plants.



Egg: It is creamy white, sometimes yellow, and gradually darkens when close to hatching.  The egg is elliptical, with an average length of 0.36 mm and 0.22 mm width.

The eggs are laid in isolation and occasionally are found in groups of 5 max., preferably in the beam or underside of young or moderately ripe leaves (Notz,1992).  The average development period is 4.5 days at 24.6OC.

Larva: The prothorax shield has a dark stripe on its rear. The newly-hatched larva is creamy yellow gradually changing its colour to green in subsequent stages. The size varies from 0.9 mm (when hatched) to 7.5 mm (at the end of its development).

Once the larva emerges it begins to move towards its point of penetration. It punctures the skin and enters the leaf, consuming the cloud. The larva can leave the mine at a given time and build another one on a nearby leaf. It can disperse very quickly to other plants by means of silk threads and are then carried by the wind. The average development period is 12.01 days which it needs to go through the 4 phases.

Pupa: Newly-formed it is green, gradually turning dark brown when the adult is about to emerge.  The female pupa is larger than the male, (4.67mm x 1.37mm and 4.27 mm x 1.23 mm respectively).  Larvae who are about to pupate stop feeding and start to weave a cocoon.

This takes place in the leaves, inside the mines, on the soil surface or on leaf litter. The average development period of male pupae is 7.80 days and 6.72 days for female pupae.

Adult: Both sexes have ash grey front wings.  The rear wings are a glossy black with dark cilia. The head, thorax and palpus are ash grey with darkish tinges.  The front wings are 4.5 - 4.7 mm in length.

The adults are nocturnal and remain hidden during the day between the leaves. They occasionally make erratic and short flights. Copulation takes place immediately after they emerge. 

The fertility rate is high with an average of 241 eggs per female and a fertility rate of almost 100%.  Most eggs are laid during the first 10 days of oviposition.  Life expectancy for males is 27 days and 24 days for females.

SOURCE: Venezuelan Society of Entomology



For the detection and monitoring of Tuta absoluta, the traps ECONEX WHITE TRIANGULAR without sheets (Code: TA118) or ECONEX DISPOSABLE WHITE TRIANGULAR (Code: TA242) are recommended because of their high sensitivity for capturing insects.

The trap ECONEX WHITE TRIANGULAR without sheets is activated by placing an ECONEX SHEET FOR TRIANGULAR (Code: TA248) on its base. The sheet is impregnated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive, without solvents, in which the insects are trapped. The trap ECONEX DISPOSABLE WHITE TRIANGULAR is coated on its inner face with a layer of contact adhesive, solvent free, for the retention of the insects.

Traps should be placed on the ground 2 or 3 weeks before planting, using 1 to 2 traps per hectare. The traps can also be placed on a plastic box near the tomato plants, but at a low height.

Both traps will be operative until pheromone depletion or saturation of the sheet or adhesive surface. The ECONEX TUTA ABSOLUTA pheromone diffuser is placed inside the trap on the sheet or adhesive surface.



Mostly the males of Tuta absoluta are captured in order to reduce mating. This reduces the pest population.

The ECONEX WATER TRAP (Code: TA133) or ECONEX WATER TRAP (ECO) (Code: TA246) is recommended for mass trapping because of its effectiveness, large capacity and low maintenance.

In the trap ECONEX WATER TRAP, the diffuser is placed in its upper cage. In the trap ECONEX WATER TRAP (ECO) the diffuser is placed in the basket on the central support of the trap

The number of traps per surface area should be increased for mass trapping, depending on where the plots are and whether they are uniform in size. One trap can control an area between 250 m2 and 500 m2. This entails a trap density of 20 to 40 traps per hectare.



When detecting and monitoring a small pest population, we recommend the ECONEX WHITE TRIANGULAR without sheets or ECONEX DISPOSABLE WHITE TRIANGULAR trap. To make mass trapping, the use of the ECONEX WATER TRAP or ECONEX WATER TRAP (ECO) is more appropriate.



To achieve good control of the Tuta absoluta, it is advisable to combine the two methods: detection and monitoring and mass trapping.

1 to 2 traps per hectare should be placed 2 or 3 weeks before planting to detect the pest and observe the level of their populations. Through established thresholds of tolerance in each area, the control measures are later defined, in this case mass trapping.

The threshold of tolerance for Tuta absoluta is very low and varies according to the area. Generally it is around 3 captures per trap and per week. Moment in which we recommend to set traps all over the crop for mass trapping.



The larvae attack the fruit and leaves by entering the interior of the leaf and eating the mesophyll, thus causing damage typical of a Tomato Leafminer. When the attacks are severe the damaged leaf looks burnt, which could be confused with disease.

The damage produced by Tuta absoluta to tomatoes, potatoes and aubergines causes a considerable impact on the economy.


If specialists and farmers use the traps and pheromones correctly during the early stages when the first generation of adults appear, then the level of efficiency of the trap is very good. It has been demonstrated that eco-friendly farms have had low level damage.

A 90% level of control is fairly common, especially where large areas of crops have been treated. A limiting factor of this system is the existence of small farms surrounded by other farms with a high level of Tuta absoluta infestation.

Despite some important basic rules for the effective control of Tuta absoluta, famers and specialists need to find their own system to gain control of the pest. They may have to experiment with this system, this includes establishing their own tolerance thresholds.



The pest population, bordering crops, level of control required etc. One important factor is crop size. A greater number of traps are needed for small, irregularly shaped plots, as opposed to larger, more uniform plots.

Another important factor is the distance between plots that have Tuta absoluta. This means that the borders of the plots must be reinforced and it may be necessary to place 40 traps per hectare. 



The diffusers must be kept in their original container and in a refrigerator at 4oC, or in the freezer at -18oC, in which case they will remain valid for 2 and 4 years respectively.


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