Use of Acoustics to Disrupt and Deter Wood-infesting Insects from and within Trees


Several exotic wood borers (Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorn Beetle) potentially threaten the entire community of ash tree species and several other hardwood species (e.g. maples) in North America. The Mountain Pine Beetle a tree-killing bark beetle in western North America is currently impacting 8.4 million acres of conifer forests in Canada and northwestern US. Currently there are few options for insect control that are not chemically based. This new method provides a non-chemical means of insect prevention and control of tree-infesting pests that occur across all habitats. The acoustic signal that emits from the device has been shown to aggravate bark beetles disrupting the mating tunneling and reproduction that kill trees. This method appears to be specific in its effects on certain species and has little impact on non-target species including the host trees. Another advantage of this method over external chemical applications is that insects that are already in the tree are negatively affected. The method functions as \'single tree protection\' and thus is needed on each tree to provide effective control. In other words the device in the current status does not emit airborne signals across the landscape or forest stand but must be attached to individual trees. Applications: This method is for individual tree protection to both large scale and private landowners and tree growers. Methods for larger applications such as whole stands of trees are being considered.


Outbreaks of tree killing insects (i.e. bark beetles wood wasps woodborers etc.) are the most significant biotic disturbance to forest ecosystems and typically lead to extensive economic losses complete transitions of forest communities and negative impacts on local recreation and forest usage. This new technology has the potential to minimize some of the impacts of these species in trees and tree colonies. There are several advantages of this acoustic device over traditional chemical applications: 1) Allows for lower cost tree protection 2) Has a greater impact on wood-infesting insects 3) Does not have a rippling effects on non-target species within natural communities and urban areas

Date of release