For the longest time, a can of insecticide is the solution to any range of insect pests at home, from mosquitos to roaches. But since that’s basically poison that the bugs are inhaling that kills them, it’s not exactly healthy for its users either. The alternative, as the researchers at the Osaka University’s Institute of Laser Engineering have developed, are laser turrets. Which may be the first step in turning a science fiction staple into reality.
According to the researchers, using lasers against mosquitos have been a thing for awhile, but scaling the tech’s usability up for larger insects have been an issue. Due to the small sizes of the blood suckers, lasers can be used to effectively cook the entirety of the bug. For larger insects, scaling up the intensity of the laser to achieve the same effect is not very cost-effective.
So instead, the researchers went for precision shots on parts of the body that’s most vulnerable to laser shots, which happen to be the head and thorax. While the research primarily focuses the use of this laser turret on tobacco cutworm moths, a major pest for crop farmers, the tech can also effective on desert locusts, and can likely be used to similar effect on other insects like flies and roaches.
This research in scaling up laser guns to be effective on insects much larger than mosquitos probably started because the aforementioned tobacco cutworm moths are pretty resistant to pesticides. It also doesn’t help that, as time goes by, those that survive being bombarded by chemical pesticides will just become more resistant, and spawn similarly hardy offspring. Though in the future when this tech becomes widespread and common, we will probably see survivors spawn offspring with some form of resistance towards getting torched by lasers.
(Source: Osaka University)
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