Managing pests with insecticides is probably the most conventional available control method. However, insecticide overuse often results in resistance and subsequent pest resurgence, and often adversely affects the ecosystem. The physical management of insect pests by utilizing substrate-borne vibrations, sounds, or both is increasingly attracting attention as an alternative, as it has modest ecosystem impacts. This method exploits vibroacoustic insect communication used for mating and the perception of approaching enemies, provoking behavioral responses in an ingenious manner. We aimed to examine whether substrate-borne vibrations effectively drive away tobacco whiteflies [Bemisia tabaci Gennadius (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae)], which are serious agricultural pests. To do so, B. tabaci individuals were artificially introduced into greenhouses where tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants were reared. A substantial reduction in the average density of B. tabaci nymphs and adults was achieved by transmitting vibrational stimuli to the plants. At the same time, no obvious reduction was found in the number of tomato plant flowers. Although the performance of the vibrational device and transmission procedures requires further improvement, the present results shed light on the potential of substrate-borne vibrations as a promising alternative for pest management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science