A PSU research team invented the “Para rubber foam mixed with insect attractant for fruit fly control”. Comparing with the use of cotton mixed with pheromones to attract insects for controlling the fruit flies, the rubber foam can release substances and attract fruit flies for up to 90 days and the use of pheromones is 5-6 times less than the one used with cotton. This reduces the costs for farmers because the Pheromones used to attract insects are expensive. Most recently, this work won the Gold Prize at Seoul International Invention Fair 2017 in Seoul, South Korea, for Innovative Products in Science and Technology Industry from 43 countries around the world.
The PSU research team who invented the Para Rubber Foam for Insects Trap is comprised of Asst. Prof. Dr. Narit Thaochan and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Aran Ngampongsai from PSU Faculty of Natural Resources; Asst. Prof. Dr. Ekwipoo Kalkornsurapranee from PSU Faculty of Science; and Miss Yawariyah Samoh, Miss Rufeah Malee, and Miss Kodeeyah Thoawan from PSU Faculty of Natural Resources.
Usually, fruit farmers, such as mango, guava, papaya, dragon fruit, and sapphire, use pheromones in the form of liquid added on cotton. Then, they put it in a trap on the tree to attract insects into the trap. But, the disadvantage of cotton is that it has a rapid evaporation rate. Moreover, when used during the hot weather, the substance in cotton is rapidly depleted from her capacity to attract fruit flies. This requires farmers to add more often pheromones and waste a lot of money.
At this point, the research team has developed the Para Rubber Foam to retract and release pheromones slowly and consistently. The laboratory experiments found that Para Rubber Foam can release substances and attract fruit flies for up to 90 days. And the pheromone used is 5-6 times less compared with the original method using cotton, which can be used for 10-15 days, and if the weather is cold it can last only for 20 days. Nowadays, farmers are ready for the trial and wait for the commercial product.