Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

On the Web Since 1994

Podcasting Since January 2008

Catch Beetles with Auto Paints

It was reported in the New York Times on May 21, 1967, that Dr. Orlo K. Jantz, a researcher at Michigan State University had stumbled upon a new way to control strawberry and picnic beetles. All that was needed was to set up traps baited with two colors of automobile paint. 

In his tests, the strawberry beetles were attracted to an acrylic primer – Dupli-Color DP-GM-3. and the picnic beetles to General Motors Midnight Blue DP-GM-44.

Jantz explained that if large numbers of the beetles could be drawn to traps sprayed with these colors, then the use of insecticides to treat crops could be greatly reduced.

Beetles attracted to automobile paints
Beetles attracted to automobile paints. 1829 image from the Internet Archive.
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