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The field of pest control has continued to produce new technologies and strategies for dealing with insects. Because pests evolve and are driven by the same survival instincts as any other creature, many methods of eliminating them have become less effective over time. Recently, it’s also become more obvious that some of these older approaches have negative side effects. The best example is the use of chemical poisons. Pests develop immunity to pesticides over time. This is even true in the case of genetically altered crops that produce their own insecticides. The pesticides can also kill unintended victims like honey bees or household pets while they accumulate in the environment. Fortunately, new technologies are being implemented that avoid such problems and are still effective.
Updating An Old Idea
The idea of controlling insect populations by introducing sterilized members to a colony of them has been around for several decades. The technique involves sterilizing male and female insects with radiation. Since it only takes a few healthy males to breed with many un-sterilized females, the sterilized females represent wasted effort. The exposure to radiation also leaves the treated males in a sickly state that often causes untreated females to reject them for mating. A new method chemically treats males so that they remain healthy and produce female offspring that quickly die. A further improvement to this approach is to make these altered males preferable as breeding partners. In the future, this could include genetic enhancement, but this selection preference can already be achieved by providing them with the right diet.
Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite
Bedbugs have become a huge problem in recent years. One new technology that can kill, along with other insect pests, is heat. This tactic is very effective and unlike standard fumigation uses no chemicals of any kind. The basic method either places infested items in an enclosure or heats an infested area. The temperature is raised to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight hours through heated air or infrared lighting. This is enough heat to kill the insects without the risk of causing a fire. In order for this to work the infested spaces need to be accurately located. Insect pests have survived by being elusive. A new technology relies on a detection device that’s more accurate than a human professional. This piece of equipment is called a dog. A trained dog can find insect hiding places far more often than experienced people.
Setting a Trap
Using glue traps to capture both insect and rodent pests is a very effective technique. The problem is getting the pests to the traps. There have been some improvements in the means of luring various pests to traps. This can include pheromones, food scents, temperature, and other signals of an ideal nesting site. On the other hand, completely removing any signals, including unintentional ones, can tell potential pests that a location has nothing to offer. Natural means like bacteria or ozone have shown themselves to be effective odor destroyers. Another potential natural method uses a type of sugar to weaken cockroach and termite immune systems by destroying helpful proteins.
March 31, 2014