Arizona researchers use beetles’ own noises to battle the bugs

March 15, 2010 at 4:40 pm Leave a comment

From denverpost.com:

Researchers from Arizona and a composer from New Mexico have teamed up to launch an acoustic counterattack against beetles that have ravaged millions of acres of trees across the West.

The insects make squeaking noises as they tunnel through trees, and now a team at Northern Arizona University is using the beetles’ own communication against them.

The researchers have been manipulating beetle sounds, which are above human hearing, and playing them back to the insects. The results drive them buggy: They attack one another, scamper in circles rather than straight lines and have tried to gnaw their way through Plexiglas covering a cross section of a tree in a lab in Flagstaff, Ariz.

“We found pretty amazing results when we would play back the sounds to bark beetles. We could disrupt their behavior,” said Richard Hofstetter, an assistant professor at Northern Arizona University’s forestry school.

Read full article..

Entry filed under: Beetles, Trees.

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