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Tomato Leafminer Moth Survey
tomato leafminer adult
tomato leafminer moth
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Gelechiidae
Scientific name: Tuta absoluta
Common name: tomato leafminer (TLM)


Survey Objectives: To monitor the state for tomato leafminer. ODA is placing approximately 100 tomato leafminer traps across the state. Placing traps allows ODA to detect any infestations when they are small and more easily eradicated.

Survey Technique: White tent-shaped traps are used to catch tomato leafminer moths. The traps are made of heavy paper and are hung in suitable host trees. Adult male false codling moths are attracted to a female-scented lure inside the trap and get stuck on the sticky inside surface.

Trap Placement: The traps are placed near agricultural crops, fruit and vegetable gardens, fruit and vegetable stands, etc. The traps are generally placed in May and removed in September.

Trap Servicing: Traps will be serviced approximately every two weeks by an insect survey technician.

Identification of Specimens: The survey technicians collect any suspect moths and send them to the lab in Salem. An entomologist will identify them.

What if Detected: If a tomato leafminer moth is detected it is likely that more traps (25-49 per square mile) will be placed in the area the following spring. If no additional moths are found, then the number of traps will be reduced for the second season. If no moths are found after two years of intensive trapping, then the trap density will drop. If many moths are detected in a particular area it is probable that there is a small infestation. It is likely that the area will be treated.

Survey Results: After the end of each season survey results are published in the Plant Division Annual Report.