- Development of a New Control Method for Serious Pests -
The agricultural pests such as the sweet potato whitefly (Bemisia tabaci Gennadius) and the cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover), are resistant to many chemical pesticides and cause severe damage to various vegetables and flowers. It was clarified that these two pests can be dispersed from the crops by applying non-contact force using ultrasonic waves. In particular, 50-60% of whitefly adults can be dispersed from leaves by vibrating at 1 to 480 Hz for 1 minute. In addition, when the non-contact force was applied to the sweet potato whitefly adults in a rearing cage for 8 hours(4 hours per day), the number of laid eggs was found to be halved. Hence it was proved that the non-contact force using the ultrasonic wave is effective for the pest control. In the future, we will work to improve the radiation coverage and develop new physical control technologies that can contribute to sustainable agricultural production, which is part of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The sweet potato whitefly and the cotton aphid are serious pests that harm variety of vegetables, ornamental plants, and flowers. These pests not only cause damage to the leaves, they also transmit various plant viruses and hence serious damage is spreading worldwide. Chemical pesticides are used to control these pests but new control technologies that do not rely solely on chemical pesticides are required due to their strong resistance to a variety of chemical pesticides.
Therefore, the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in collaboration with Pixie Dust Technologies, Inc., applied non-contact force using ultrasonic waves to the sweet potato whitefly and the cotton aphid on crops and examined the reaction. It was found that approximately 60% of whitefly adults was dispersed, 25% of winged adults and 14% of wingless adults of aphids was dispersed from the leaves. In addition, by applying non-contact force for 4 hours per day, the number of eggs laid by whitefly adults was reduced by approximately 54%.
From this result, non-contact force using ultrasonic waves can control pests without using chemical pesticides. We believe that this will be useful for the development of unprecedented physical control technology. For future practical use, we will develop an equipment that can be moved throughout the greenhouse and examine whether it is possible to trap the dispersed pests with sticky traps or suction devices.
Budget: the research program on development of innovative technology grants (JPJ007097) from the Project of the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution (BRAIN) Patent: JP-A-2020-115855
Chihiro URAIRI, Takayuki HOSHI and Izumi OHTA (2022) Development of a new insect pest control device using noncontact force generated by ultrasonic transducers. Applied Entomology and Zoology, DOI: 10.1007/s13355-022-00774-w