According to new research, scientists have discovered how to manipulate behavior and flight patterns of winged insects such as fruit flies. “Fruit flies are often used as model organisms to understand fundamental problems in biology,” said Professor Philip Newland, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Southampton and lead author of a recent study. “75 percent of the genes that cause disease in humans are shared by fruit flies, so by studying them we can learn a lot about basic mechanisms…”
Why is this research important? Scientists were able to observe that winged flies, when put in a Y shaped plastic maze, avoided the side exposed to an electric charge; however, wingless flies did not. This research seems as though winged flies were unable to control their own wings against the negatively charged electrode, in turn, their behavior pattern was to avoid the charge.
As you would expect upon realizing they were not able to control their wings, the flies appeared to get angry and biochemical changes show both a higher level of Octopamine and lower levels of dopamine. The flies were clearly stressed out and agitated by the static charge. That begs the question; could this research be the cutting edge to pest control?
It could be possible to create a mesh that allows the static charge, and airflow but disallows the flying insects from entering the home or area where it is place. This mesh could be placed around the windows of a home or greenhouse to achieve the desired effect.
This information also opens the door to research into the side effects of other winged and pollenating insects around power lines.
Interested in using electricity as pest control? Please click here for more information