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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355423

Research Project: Improved Biologically-Based Methods for Insect Pest Management of Crop Insect Pests

Location: Insect Behavior and Biocontrol Research

Title: A microcontroller-based acoustic trap for southern and tawny mole crickets in Florida

item Berkner, Stephen - University Of Florida
item Dermody, Anthony - University Of Florida
item Rhode, Barukh - University Of Florida
item Mankin, Richard
item Dale, Adam - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The southern mole cricket Scapteriscus borellii and tawny mole cricket Scapteriscus vicinus are important pests of forage and turfgrass, reducing the productivity of grassland. Traditionally, control is done through pesticide treatment. However, as these crickets communicate using sound, acoustic trapping methods have existed for several decades, playing recorded mating calls. Mole cricket activity is at its highest during mating season, when both species will play loud mating calls for several hours every evening. Most damage-causing activities, such as egg laying and burrowing, occur during these time periods. This combination of factors makes an acoustic entrapment approach particularly effective for population control. A typical trap consists of a top layer containing a system of speakers and a set of funnels leading down to a sand pit, in which the crickets will burrow and fail to leave. While a common method of producing mole cricket attractors is to use analog control circuits, technology has improved substantially since these systems were first designed in the 1970’s. Microcontrollers are commonplace in the consumer electronic marketplace. Many programming languages exist for these microcontrollers that are almost syntactically identical to conventional programming languages, making the technology easily accessible to consumers. This work sets out a design for a microcontroller-based acoustic trap that redesigns the current method of acoustically attracting these mole crickets to field traps for insect population control.