No-chemicals solar powered bug killer seeks Europe expansion

October 2, 2011 by Nancy Owano weblog
No-chemicals bug killer seeks Europe expansion

( -- AgriSolar this week announced an aggressive push into the European market for its no-chemicals insect killer that makes use of solar power to heat special insect-zapping light bulbs. AgriSolar said it plans to open several European sales and distribution offices with European partners. Its push is intended to capitalize on EU legislation that supports reducing the health risks of certain chemical pesticides.

The company, in Denver, Colorado, has a solution that it says attracts, disorients, and in turn kills insects. Its technology consists of a light bulb and a solar panel. The solar panel charges a battery during the day that powers proprietary which automatically come on via a and timer system at night. The bulbs are designed in such a way to attract a significant amount of bugs.

The bulbs emit a special light that lures the insects. When the come within six to twelve inches of the light bulb. an additional wave disorients the bug and it falls into a water collection bin located below the light and then drowns. A video taken at Emery’s Berry Patch, 60-acre farm that grows blueberries, is full of praise for the product. “Our customers are walking through the fields and they pick the berries and eat them. We need to have the safest environment we can provide,” said the spokesman. He said that this year as in other years he would have had to cope with caterpillar damage but with AgriSolar he has seen a 90 percent reduction in pests. He said the solution was a no-brainer.“Nobody wants pesticide residue.”

Most large, two-bulb units from the company are priced between $1,000 and $1,200. Each unit, depending on size, is designed to cover an area of between 3,000 to 6,000 square meters and to last seven to ten years, according to the company.

At the time of this writing, the company’s site posted some “Testing Reports” to show the product’s efficacy.

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The AgriSolar solutions have a foothold in China. Some 40,000 units are on farms in provinces throughout China. Liang Chao Wei, AgriSolar's Chief Executive Officer, said the insect control systems have seen great success in the Chinese agricultural market, which allowed the company to grow revenues quickly.

AgriSolar Solutions is described on the company site as a Colorado Corporation. "Through our wholly-owned, China based subsidiary, we are engaged in the development, manufacture and sale of our patented solar powered insect killer products for commercial agricultural growers."

Explore further: Lights out for old 100-watt bulbs in EU next week

More information: Press release

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4.5 / 5 (4) Oct 02, 2011
I'd wager that after a few seasons of this device, the surviving insects would eventually evolve behavioural avoidance patterns.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2011
What about the beneficial insects. Thinking specifically of pollination.
4.3 / 5 (3) Oct 02, 2011
I could see putting them on wheels for late night auto-sentry mode. It's a brilliant ( hardy har ) solution, based on an old country remedy for getting rid of fleas in the house, lamp bulb over a bowl of soapy water.

I doubt they'd acclimate to the light, otherwise bugs would have stopped flying into lights and bugzappers at night a long time ago.

Different insects exhibit negative and positive phototaxis, so this won't be effective for all pests, but it is a step in the right direction.

The other possible stumbler is that light at night can interrupt the photoperiod cycle of the crop and throw everything out of whack.

4.5 / 5 (2) Oct 02, 2011
From the AgriSolar site on the 'testing reports page' they say this: "In total, 321,891 specimens from 44 species classified in seven orders and 29 families were captured. Of these, 23 species are herbivores, four are predators, five are aquatic species, and two are parasites. Two are blood-suckers, two pollinate flowers, and two that eat organic material during decomposition. "

Two pollinate flowers, so it kills indiscriminately, meaning, it kills beneficial insects too.. I don't like it.
5 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2011
There are more direct ways to attract pest insects, pheromones and ultrasonic signaling are two I can think of off the top of my head. Something like a Blister beetle can actually hear Xylem cavitation in plant tissues, this is just like a dinner bell for a bug.

Plants basically put out signals that alert bugs to the fact they are in a distressed state, not intentional, but all the same, it draws bugs in to feed.

I like this idea but it remains that it is attempting to squash the symptoms and not the problems.
not rated yet Oct 02, 2011
AgriSolar's trap selects bugs attracted to light. Bats hunt less selectively, using echo location to eat nocturnal-flying insects, regardless of attraction to light.

However, bat colonies are dying off in some continents, so insects can reproduce without the predators, and with overabundant food supplies provided by farmers.
4 / 5 (1) Oct 02, 2011
Two pollinate flowers, so it kills indiscriminately, meaning, it kills beneficial insects too.. I don't like it.

As most pollinators are diurnal,they wouldn't be affected by this product.Would you prefer farmers use pesticides/herbicides instead?
Perhaps that anti-mosquito "star wars" laser system could be adapted to identify and kill flying pests.The mosquito device can actually distinguish between male and female mosquitoes by measuring the frequency of their wing-beats before it cranks up the laser power to fry them.See:
not rated yet Oct 02, 2011
Too bad mosquitoes are attracted by CO2 and body odors, not light.
not rated yet Oct 02, 2011
I think that these things would get stolen in much of Europe. I really like the idea though. I wonder if maybe it would be more effective if there was a chemoattractant and a pesticide in the water as well.
not rated yet Oct 03, 2011
Fools. Concepts like this are going to drive us to our end.
1 / 5 (1) Oct 03, 2011
Fools. Concepts like this are going to drive us to our end.

Not really. Things like these are a mayor improvement over what we had before.
not rated yet Oct 03, 2011
No. They are a short term solution that will remove our long term survival.

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