University of Minnesota students find ‘eco-friendly’ way to kill Japanese beetles

By Alex Shhith
Star Tribune in
May 29, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US East

Aditya Prabhu, a University of Minnesota computer engineering student, spent his youth defending his family peach tree from Japanese beetles that would strip the tree of its foliage. …Prabhu wondered if there was an easier way to get rid of the beetles, while he was taking an entrepreneurship class this year. As he researched, he learned about pheromone traps that attracted Japanese beetles. But he also discovered that many of those traps can fill fast, leaving the remaining insects free to wreak havoc. He, along with fellow student James Duquette, a finance major, designed a circular-shaped, double-netted trap with pheromones to attract Japanese beetles. When the insects step onto the net, covered with a type of insecticide, they become immobilized and fall into another net that catches them. …Prabhu and Duquette will test their models at vineyards across Minnesota, partnering with farmers looking for more eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to manage the pests.

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