Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

When Insects See Yellow


Yellow sticky traps catch harmful insects, yet pollinating insects are not drawn to them. Source:

Many harmful insects are attracted to the color yellow. It’s the color of plants under stress and millions of years of evolution have taught them to head directly to yellowing plants whose defenses are probably weakened.

You can find yellow sticky traps in most garden centers. They are simply pieces of yellow plastic or cardboard covered with a sticky, non-drying glue. Hang or clip one on or near a plant that is susceptible to infestations from flying insects (whiteflies, fungus gnats, aphids, thrips, leafminers, leafhoppers, moths, etc.)… then keep your eyes peeled. At the beginning of an infestation, you will quickly notice the presence of a lot of winged prisoners on the trap, a sign it’s time to think seriously about a pesticide treatment (insecticidal soap, neem, etc.).

And if you’re very lucky, the trap can even nip the infestation in the bud: if the very first whitefly arriving in your garden or your houseplant lands straight away on the sticky trap, it may be game over for whiteflies (or aphids or leafhoppers, etc.) for the year!

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

8 comments on “When Insects See Yellow

  1. Pingback: Have A Ball Stopping the Apple Maggot | Laidback Gardener

  2. Pingback: When Thrips Attack | Laidback Gardener

  3. Pingback: Longer Days Awaken Pests | Laidback Gardener

  4. Pingback: Learning to Deal with Cucumber Beetles – Laidback Gardener

  5. Janine Starcevich

    Where would you recommend I purchase the supplies for the yellow trap, or the red ball trap?

  6. Pingback: Flea Beetles: the Shotgun Insects – Laidback Gardener

  7. Pingback: Keeping Fungus Gnats Under Control – Laidback Gardener

  8. Pingback: Splotchy Beet Leaves Mean Miners at Work – Laidback Gardener

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: