Submitted to: Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 30, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, the US Horticultural Research Laboratory in Ft Pierce, FL, and the University of Puerto Rico have cooperated in testing the efficacy of portable acoustic technology to detect infestations of citrus root weevils in root systems of orange trees where they are hard to detect. This report describes a test comparing the predictions of the acoustic system with the actual insects counted in excavated soil. The use of acoustic detection and analysis reduces the amount of time and labor associated with the detection and sampling of these insects and can lead to cost-reductions in integrated pest management programs.
A portable acoustic system developed to detect hidden insect infestations was used to rate the likelihood that trees in citrus groves were infested with economically important, Diaprepes abbreviatus larvae. The likelihood was rated independently by a trained listener and a computer program that distinguished between insect sounds and background. The ratings were compared with counts of excavated organisms. D. abbreviatus or other pests were recovered from all 11 sites rated at high likelihood of infestation but absent from 20 of 25 sites rated low. The new system has potential as a tool for rapid, nondestructive surveys of soil pests.