Jim Jasinski, Frank Becker (Extension); Ashley Leach (Entomology)
Well, not quite HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Ohio State University IPM Program and Department of Entomology have maintained an insect pest monitoring network for over three decades. Typically, pests are monitored using either sticky traps, scent-based traps or pheromone traps.
As trapping technology has evolved, OSU is now experimenting with Trapview camera traps that purport to identify pests captured internally on sticky film using Artificial Intelligence (AI) software. Each AI identified pest is then reviewed and verified by a trained employee for accuracy. While the camera based traps are relatively expensive compared to traditional monitoring traps ($650 apiece), they require very little maintenance except pheromone lure replacement. The cost savings will come from time saved physically inspecting the trap every few days or weekly throughout the season. The number of pests identified by the AI is tallied per day and shown on a website and app, along with a picture of the pests on the sticky panel inside the trap.
Through a grant from Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program, five Trapview traps will be evaluated at three locations (Wooster (3), Celeryville (1), South Charleston (1)) on three different pests (Corn earworm (2), Grape berry moth (1), Codling moth (2)) compared to the standard trap for each pest. Updates on how well these AI based traps compare to standard traps will be reported at various times throughout the season.