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Insect attacks will often lead to serious damage of growing crops, and is controlled by the use of insecticides, which often are used in preventive purposes or to late. Obviously there is a need for a system that can detect insect attacks. The BugIT project, supported by grants from the Swedish Farmers Foundation for Agricultural Research, aims to develop a system for monitoring and identification of insects in the field, which will help the farmers to optimize insect control.

The system is based on an electrical detector, using 1.5 kV between two conductors, and when the insect passes them, an electrical shock is generated that knocks the insect and can be registered. The first detector was developed for the monitoring of pollen beetles, and to attract these, the detector was coloured yellow and contained a chemical attractant. The detector was connected to a microcontroller for measurements, data treatment and storage. To the system also sensors for air humidity, temperature, sun intensity and battery voltage were connected.
The first measurement series were started in the summer 2008. Typical responses from a measurement series of nine days are shown in Fig. 1.

Fig.1. The upper curves show number of detected insect per 30 minutes, (blue), the humidity (yellow) and sun intensity (magenta). The lower curves show the temperatures. It is interesting to note the sudden increase in insect counts during the fifth day, this is due to that pollen beetles only are active if the temperature is above 15 oC.

Responsible for this page: Mats Eriksson
Last updated: 04/29/09