Can Sound Vibrations Reduce Pesticide Use?

Could sound be the key to reducing the toxic load of our favorite citrus fruit?

Florida’s orange groves are riddled with pests. In fact, the orange industry lost $3.6 billion in their fight against pests between 2006 and 2012. Pesticides have long been the favored way of handling these bacteria-carrying insects but scientists are concerned about how much longer these measures can remain effective. Plus, spraying absurd quantities of poison on our food is bound to have some unwanted side effects…

These pests — the Asian citrus psyllid — are expected to become increasingly resistant to pesticide use over time. Therefore, a more effective, and perhaps less toxic measure, is needed. Not only do these psyllids feed on the stems and leaves of the trees, but they also spread bacteria that inevitably kills the tress within years. So if pesticides aren’t the answer, what is? Intriguingly, scientists believe they can use sound to impede psyllid reproduction.

How can sound reduce psyllid infestation and damage? Psyllid males emit a sound which vibrates through the tree when looking for a mate. The proposed acoustic device intercepts this call and emits a female-type response before any other females have the opportunity. When the male comes to the call, looking to ‘get it on’ and propagate the psyllid population, it gets trapped on a sticky surface near the device. In testing, those exposed to the sound device were four times less likely to find a mate and reproduce than undeterred psyllids. That’s pretty good odds for a pest deterrent that isn’t straight-up poison.

As of right now, the device costs between $50 and $200, but only has a two-foot range. Although this is expensive, the team is working to reduce the cost so that these devices may be employed large scale in orange groves — if proven effective. The cost will also be more warranted as psyllid become more and more resistant to pesticide use. These devices, however, will most likely work in tandem with moderate amounts of pesticides to protect orange crops, although perhaps they could become the key to a less toxic future.

In fact, this type of sound-based pest control has been effective on other pests, like crickets, mosquitos, moles, cockroaches and flies. If this because successful in the orange groves, perhaps this type of technology could clean up and streamline crops across the country.

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94 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sherry Kohn
Sherry Kohn2 years ago

Many thanks to you !

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BornBlazed IndicaSeeds

I doubt it will work. We should Substitute the Fungicide however with Hot pepper Water, it works on Mammals and Fungus.

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Sandy F.
Sandy F2 years ago

sounds interesting, wonder if it could work on others as well

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan H2 years ago

Noted

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Sen Heijkamp
Sayenne H2 years ago

thankss

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Janis K.
Janis K2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

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