When it comes to comparing things, metrics matter. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘compare apples to apples’ but so often it’s hard to make a fair compare between products.. Spider Traps fall into that category.
Just scanning the insect and spider trap landscape we find anything from pre-assembled Victor Traps , to Single Terro t3200 traps, to Trapper 3 trap sheets and Traps Direct Ambush spider traps with 4 trap sheets. So how do you compare this wide variety of traps??
Ultimately when it comes down to it, what a consumer wants to know most is “How effective will is ‘trap a’ vs ‘trap b’ ?”
There are a variety of metrics that can be considered including Active Trap Surface Area, Trap Foot Print, Active Trap Field Entrance and TACF – Trap Active Catch Field. Today we’ll take a quick look at Active Trap Field Entrance
Active Trap Field Entrance
When considering a spider trap, how much of the trap is available to the insect and/or spider to wander into the trap and be caught? The Entrance to the trap is important, but even more critical is the entrance to the Active Trap which means essentially the glue area. So if you had a 3″ x 3″ rectangle trap with entrances at the 3″ ends, then a 12″ LONG trap, is no more effective than the 3″ LONG trap, because the ENTRANCE to the glue area is still only 3″ wide.
In a nutshell, that is what the ATFe – Active Trap Field Entrance is intended to represent at a glance. The total length of the ways an insect can enter into the glue area of a trap. Effectively rating the CatchPower of the trap. So for definition purposes:
Active Trap Field Entrance = total length of glue edges a target pest can enter into the glue field.
So for an example trap : 9 sq in trap measuring 3″ x 3″ contains 3″ sides open for a target pest to wander in,
ATFe = 3″ + 3″ = 6″ written as 6 ATFe
But the SAME 9sq in area trap measuring 6″ x 1.5″ contains two 6″ sides for pests to enter, DOUBLING the CatchPower
ATFe = 6″ + 6″ = 12″ written as 12 ATFe
Some examples of common Spider Traps and their ATFe ratings:
Catchmaster 288i : 6 ATFe
Bell Labs Trapper : 6 ATFe
Traps Direct Ambush : 13 ATFe
The drawback to ATFe is that it does not consider the Zero Margin Entrances in the CatchPower calculation. Zero Margin entry is important for smaller insects as a non-zero glue margin may cause the insect to hesitate and avoid the trap. But more on that in another post.