Generic filters
Exact matches only
Filter by Categories
Bed Bug Treatments
Bee-Removal
Commercial Pest Control
Garden Pests and Lawn Pests
Open to the Public
Other Pests
Pest Control Ants
Ant Baits
Ant Research
Pest Control Birds
Pest Control Cockroaches
Cockroach Baits
Cockroach Research
Pest Control Equipment
Pest Control Fabric Pests
Pest Control Fleas
Pest Control Flies
Pest Control Mosquitoes
Pest Control Products
Pest Control Software
Pest Control Spiders
Pest Control Stored Product Pests
Pest Control Ticks
Pest Control Treatments
Pest Control Wasps
Professional Pest Manager Magazine
Rodent Control
Mouse traps and Rat Traps
Rat Bait and mouse bait
Rodent Research
Running a pest control business
Insurance
Sales and Marketing
Training
Termite and Pest Inspections
Termite Professional magazine
Termite Research
Termite Treatment
Baits
Pre-construction
Soil treatment
Filter by content type
Taxonomy terms

LASERS: THE NEW WEAPON AGAINST STORED PRODUCT PESTS

A group of researchers in Germany may have the answer to detecting and eliminating stored product pests. 

In the battle against stored product pests, a new kind of digital technology is being tested, which not only detects pests but controls them – using lasers.

In a project supported by the German government, researchers are testing a newly developed mobile camera system that scans surfaces in storage warehouses and food processing plants. If an insect is detected, it is compared with stored morphological data to determine whether the detected individual is a target pest. If it is identified as a pest – with high probability (over 80%) – a laser beam is directed to the target to eliminate the insect by heat. The action is then recorded in a central monitoring system.

The recognition software is based on pattern analysis, known as ‘deep learning’, which becomes increasingly accurate as more data is collected. If the pest insect does not match one of those stored in the database, the new species is added, with corresponding image and video data, as well as the physical specimen. The long-term aim is to develop a system that is able to learn and identify an increasing number of different insect species over time.

As with any kind of new technology, there are still a few teething issues. Namely, the accuracy of pest detection and identification – especially in contrast to grain – under different light settings. Initial tests by the German research team will look at the grain weevil (Sitophilus granaries) and Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella) under different light conditions. The team will also investigate various laser beam wavelengths and intensities – the need is to eliminate the insect without damaging surfaces and items beneath or next to the target pest.

If successful, the detection system would enable stored product managers to create a centralised monitoring system, which would in turn lower the personnel costs for inspections and to allow for immediate action to be taken against pests. Such an automated surveillance would be an integral part of an IPM system and could be used in the reception of raw products and storage of finished products, particularly in areas without workers or at hours when there is no production.

More information on stored product pests.

Further reading: Kern, P. et al. (2019). Star Wars in the warehouse – A new approach using a camera and laser to spot and eliminate insect pests. Conference paper presented at Entomology Congress 2019, Halle (Saale), Germany. March 14, 2019.