(Converted from the Rutgers PDF file to HTML by West Virginia University)
Back to WVU Horticulture and Gardening Page

Sticky traps, or sticky boards, are very helpful for detecting and monitoring many flying insect pests in greenhouses, including whiteflies, thrips,and aphids. When populations of these pests are low, sticky traps may even be of limited value in the control of these insects.


Traps should be made out of plywood or hardboard, about 8" x 12" in size (Fig. 1). However, since these boards hang above the crop canopy and the insects are caught in place, virtually any hard material can be used (sheets of metal, plexiglass, etc.). Drill a 1/4" hole about 1 inch from the top and in the center of the board to enable the board to hang from the ceiling. The traps should be painted a bright yellow on both sides and allowed to thoroughly dry. ("Warning Yellow" or Safety Yellow" are very bright yellows.)

Bright yellow is highly attractive to aphids, whiteflies, leafminers, leafhoppers, and thrips. Bright blue and bright white are fairly attractive to thrips and aphids, but recent research indicates that these colors may not be as effective as bright yellows for some pests. Traps should then be smeared thinly over all surfaces with a nondrying sticky material—hence the name "sticky traps." Commercially produced insect adhesives may remain sticky for months after application and are available under such names as "Tack Trap," "Tangle Foot," and "Stiky Stuff Adhesive." As a substitute, vegetable oils or natural gum resins plus hydrogenated castor oils can be spread thinly over a board, but these materials will not be effective for long periods of time. Some automotive cup greases are also suitable, but they also require frequent renewal, especially in dusty conditions. All of these materials need to be cleaned and reapplied as insects accumulate on the trap.

Commercially manufactured sticky strips/traps (yellow or blue) are available from most suppliers of pesticides. Strips/traps are available in 3" x 5" and 6" x 12" sizes, coated on both sides with a sticky material and protective coating. When the strip/trap is in position, the protective coverings are peeled away exposing the sticky surfaces. The strips/traps are discarded when they are no longer functional.


Sticky boards should hang about 10-12" above the crop canopy (Fig. 2). Preliminary research suggests boards should ideally hang 7.8 ft above the floor in greenhouses. It is recommended that at least one trap be used for every 1,000 sq ft of floor space in the greenhouse, although additional traps would be of benefit. Traps should also be placed near all doors and vents to detect insect pests that might be entering a greenhouse. Traps should not be visible from outdoors.


Consep Membranes, Inc., 213 Southwest Columbia, PO Box 6059, Bend, OR 97708
E.C. Geiger, Inc., Route 63, Box 285, Harleysville, PA 19438
Olson Products, Inc., Medina, Ohio
Treece, 635 South Sanborn Road, Suite 17, Salinas, CA 93901
Whitmire Research Labs, Inc., 3568 Tree Court Ind. Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63122

*Information in this reference appears with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by RUTGERS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION is implied.


Distributed in cooperation with U.S. Department of Agriculture in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Cooperative Extension work in agriculture, home economics, and 4-H. Zane R. Helsel, director of Extension. Rutgers Cooperative Extension provides information and educational services to all people without regard to sex, race, color, national origin, disability or handicap, or age. Rutgers Cooperative Extension is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 750-9303

Desktop publishing by the Cook College/NJAES Office of Communications and Public Affairs

Top of Page