The McNeil lab runs several light traps to monitor the flight periods of the true army worm, Pseudaletia unipuncta, as part of the long term study on the reproductive biology and migratory strategy of this sporadic agricultural pest. The flight period of the Western Bean Cutworm, Loxagrotis albicosta, a pest of corn and beans, is also being monitored as there has been a significant increase in population densities of this insect in the Great Lakes region over the last decade.
Material taken from the light traps is used to establish laboratory colonies, to provide material used in behavioural and physiological studies relating to reproduction and flight capacity. The data obtained not only adds to our basic understanding of pheromone mediated mating in insects, but provides information that is necessary to develop effective management strategies for these pests.
The Thompson lab maintains a bee colony at the station to provide stock for on-campus experiments.