Evaluation of Trap Cropping for Control of Diamondback Moth (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) in a Broccoli Production System

S. Sherbrooke, Y. Carrière, J. C. Palumbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Trap cropping, in which a trap crop is planted near a cash crop, has been used successfully for reducing pest damage in some agricultural systems. We used a meta-analysis of extensive data on two trap cropping systems, diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (Linnaeus), exploiting cabbage and Chilo partellus (Swinhoe) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) exploiting maize, to show that oviposition preference for, and high larval mortality on trap crops are important indicators of effectiveness of trap cropping systems. We then evaluated Indian mustard (Brassica juncea var. juncea L. Czern.) (Capparidales: Brassicaceae) and yellow rocket (Barbarea vulgaris W. T. Aiton) (Brassicales: Brassicaceae) as trap crops for protecting broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica Plenck) (Capparidales: Brassicaceae) against diamondback moth in Yuma, AZ, using planting configurations compatible with current practices for commercial production and without use of insecticides. In oviposition choice tests, both yellow rocket and Indian mustard were highly preferred over broccoli in the field. Furthermore, the number of larvae and pupae was significantly lower on yellow rocket and Indian mustard compared to broccoli, indicating relatively high mortality on these trap crops. Nevertheless, during the fall and spring growing seasons, no significant differences in the number of individuals on broccoli or proportion of broccoli crowns infested at harvest occurred between plots with trap crops relative to plots exclusively planted to broccoli. Thus, with the plant density and planting patterns used and without use of insecticides, there was no evidence that trap cropping was effective for reducing diamondback moth infestation of broccoli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1864-1871
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of economic entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Barbarea vulgaris
  • Brassica juncea
  • Chilo partellus
  • Plutella xylostella
  • diamondback moth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science


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