Fighting Troublesome Bugs With Sound?

The year of 2016 saw a lot of insects causing devastation worldwide. If it is not the Zika virus, then it’s invasive insect pests. One particular insect-pest that has caused a considerable amount of trouble is known as the bark beetle. The bark beetle happens to be one of the most damaging insect-pests that exist in the world today. However, a music professor from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and a researchers from Northern Arizona University, may introduce the world to an instrument that will fix the bark beetle problem for good.

In recent years, bark beetles have caused such widespread destruction that experts consider their populations to be at outbreak levels. The music professor came up with the idea of using a piece of electronic musical equipment in order to record the sounds that the beetles make while interacting in the wild. That is not all, the music professor then plays back the bark beetle sounds, but in such a way that the same sound is not repeated. By avoiding repetition, the professor is convincing the bark beetles that these sounds are legit, and not being shot out over a loudspeaker by a mad scientist.

Once the bark beetles are exposed to the maddening sounds they start physically fighting each other. Not only that but they stop mating and female bark beetles lose their ability to lay eggs. Now the researchers are teaming up in an interuniversity effort to figure out how to use these sounds to eradicate mass amounts of bark beetles. This would result in many trees located within the western region of the United States to go on living, and perhaps even wildfires would eventually become less common, since the trees would not be as dried up and dead as a result of the lessened bark beetle activity.

Do you find the particular pest control method described above to be inhumane, or can bugs even feel pain?