Five commercialized ultrasonic devices (Devices A-E) and an ultrasonic device developed at KSU were tested for their ability to repel house crickets, Acheta domestica, in plexiglass enclosures in the laboratory, and field crickets, A. assimilis in the greenhouse. The five commercialized ultrasonic devices generated peak frequencies ranged from 26 kHz to 80 kHz, and produced 70 to 95 dB sound pressure levels (SPL) at 50 cm distance (0 dB=20 log10(20 mPa/20 mPa). The random-ultrasonic generator system used a computer, arbitrary waveform generator, and custom electronics to generate ultrasonic pulses in the 20 to 100 kHz frequency range. The KSU device is driven by a computer that chooses the pulse length, frequency, and quiet time between pulses across the entire frequency range at random. The sound pressure level was around 95 dB in the center of the test enclosures.
Laboratory tests showed that the responses of house crickets to ultrasound varied among the devices. The ultrasound emitted from the devices A, C, and the random-ultrasonic generator appeared to be able to partially, but significantly, repel house crickets. Both devices D and E failed to repel the insects. The devices A, B, and C also were subjected to paired tests in greenhouse conditions. The greenhouse tests indicated that the three ultrasonic units could not repel the field crickets. There were no significant differences in number of crickets captured between the paired traps with/without ultrasound or among the three ultrasonic units.
Species 1: Orthoptera Gryllidae Acheta domesticus (house cricket)
Species 2: Orthoptera Gryllidae Acheta assimilis (field cricket)
Keywords: Ultrasound, pest control
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA