Is this the end for bug spray?—30 August 2016

Murdoch University research, supported by ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award funding, is finding out how insects smell food. The study could lead to the next generation of environmentally-friendly insect attractants, repellents and pesticide technology. Insect biologist Dr Wei Xu explained that protecting crops against damage from insect pests and reducing the transmitted diseases and infections they can spread is an ongoing challenge.

“Insects rely on their senses to detect food,” Dr Xu said. “This has considerable potential for the development of odour-based behaviour control methods. This project will develop new insights into underlying insect smell systems. We hope to identify potential attractant compounds and develop environmentally-safe, insect pest controls.”

The research will identify the scents which attract insects, and use this information to create environmentally-friendly pest traps, protecting crops and people without the need to use chemical pesticides or repellents.



Media issued by Murdoch University.
Image: Dr Wei Xu. Image courtesy: Murdoch University.

Original Published Date: 
Monday, September 12, 2016