The Suction Trap Network (STN) was initially established in Illinois by Dr. David Voegtlin in 2001. In 2005 the STN expanded to include sites in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. A few years later, the network expanded again to include Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and South Dakota. Most of suction trap locations were placed on university research farms (Table 1).
The initial objective of the STN was to monitor the invasive soybean aphid species, Aphis glycines. The STN function includes providing information on:
- counts on the soybean aphid and other aphids counts on other crop pests
- generates data for collaboration with other researchers and provides information for outreach activities through online and extension.
The STN currently (2018) has 31 suction traps in operation with a total of 51 unique locations that were operational at some point. The suction traps are about 5.8 m high (Figure 1) and capture winged-insects through the suction of air through the standing pipe into a bottle filled with propylene glycol (Figure 2). Propylene glycol is used because it preserves the insects and it is not considered a hazardous liquid for shipping. The fan operates from 7 am to 8 pm from the third week of May through the third week of October. The samples are collected and mailed weekly to a USDA-ARS laboratory located at the University of Illinois.
- North Central Soybean Research Program
- Iowa State University through Erin Hodgson (2016-2018).
- University of Wisconsin through Russell Groves (2016-2018).