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Efficient visual pest control is still in its infant stages. Although being non-invasive, environmentally friendly and potentially cost effective, we still have not cracked the way to efficiently use it against epidemic vector-carrying and crop-infesting insects. Chironomid ovipostion can provide insights to key factors in visual pest control by investigating the behavior under confined and unconfined conditions. Under confined condition, due to limited amount of oviposition sites and increase of egg density in highly preferred locations, females oviposit in less suitable sites. Intensity and polarization of light reflected from the oviposition sites were found to be important as guiding cues for the females. However, in the open outdoor where oviposition sites are unlimited, oviposition followed the polarization signal only, and the intensity was ignored as a cue. By applying this approach to reduce chironomid population in a natural reservoir we show that it may be used to divert ovipositing females to egg traps reflecting highly and horizontally polarized light. The potential of using color, intensity and polarization as a basis for building oviposition traps and applying it to pest control in the future, is discussed.
Published online: 17 October 2012.
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