When you think of “technology”, insect control is likely not the first thing that comes to mind.
Yet since January 6 is recognized as National Technology Day in the U.S., we wanted to highlight our own technology tools that allow us to create effective insect control.
No one can assemble an insect focus group and ask them what kind of fragrances or foods they like, what scents repel them, what colors and patterns catch their eyes or whether they would rather enter a trap from a top, bottom or side opening.
It’s our technology that allows RESCUE!® to come closer than anyone else in gathering the information on insect behaviors necessary to create an effective product. With the tools housed within our in-house insect research lab, we can get up close and personal with the bugs.
If you could read their minds...
It’s a fascinating piece of equipment with a wordy name: the Gas Chromatograph-Electro Antennogram Detector, or GC-EAD for short.
Think of it as a “brain scan"... although in insects, it’s the antenna which tells us what we need to know.
Removing the antenna from a live insect, electrodes are attached to each end. Though detached from the insect’s body, the antenna remains “alive” for several hours and will react to scents.
Our R&D Director Dr. Qing-He Zhang’s expertise with the GC-EAD and deft touch with the most delicate of insect antennae means that we’ve been able to read the minds of not only wasps and yellowjackets, but also mosquitoes.
The antenna is exposed to different scents; a strong reaction will make the needle jump on a computerized graph connected to the electrodes. And that reaction tells us if we’re on to something that may attract or repel the insect.
The science of visual attraction
The Electro-Retinogram (ERG) is a newer tool in our R&D lab allows us to learn what visual cues will attract insects.
Using the ERG, we hook up electrodes to an insect eye. The machine can measure photoreceptor responses in the insect retina to different wavelengths of visual stimuli. This allows us to create traps (like our Fly Tape and TrapStik® products) with the most attractive colors and intensities to lure the bugs.
We call it VisiLure® technology: the capability to lure insects with colors, shapes, and other visual stimuli.
Technology is the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes… and what’s more practical than protecting your own back yard from bugs?