While military intelligence relies on one’s ability to interpret human communication, the challenges of deciphering insect behavior are not quite as clear. We can’t listen in to a mosquito’s cell phone calls or sneak a camera into a yellowjacket nest to record the minutes of their secret colony meetings. What we can do is learn as much as we can about their behavior and what makes the insect tick.
To test scent attractants and repellents, RESCUE!® scientists gather data by introducing various natural compounds to insect antennae, then measuring the responses through our Gas Chromatograph-Electro Antenna Detector. This technology allows RESCUE!® scientists and technicians to “understand the enemy” and begin the process of devising effective countermeasures. Our team of chemists and insect experts then begins the process of creating and testing “recipes” that will be effective in luring or repelling insects, safe for humans and the environment, and reproducible through our manufacturing processes.
In addition to scents, RESCUE!® now has ways to discover what attracts insects visually. Using the Electroretinogram (ERG) machine in our lab, our scientists measure photoreceptor responses in insect retinas to different wavelengths of visual stimuli so they can identify the most attractive colors, patterns and intensities. The result is our VisiLure® technology.
Sounds like an oxymoron — a contradiction in terms. Green means safe, healthy, eco-friendly and natural. And chemistry on the other hand is goggles, lab coats, Bunsen burners and toxic substances, right?
Form and function are the two challenges every product designer begins with. What function must the product fulfill? And how can it be designed and built most simply and effectively?