KANSAI Close-up

Preventing damage to fruits

The Tokushima Fruit Tree Research Institute of Katsuura town in Tokushima Pref. , Yamaguchi Univ. and others, have collectively developed technology originating from an idea of utilizing the character of bats to prevent noxious insects from damaging fruits.
A species of moths called fruit-piercing moths are known to have emerged in thickets and flown into fruit farms only during the night to suck juice of peaches, pears and apples, causing considerable damage to fruit growers. Also known was that bats, fruit-piercing moths'natural enemy, use supersonic waves to search for and seize them. On the other hand, fruit-piercing moths themselves sense bats'supersonic waves and try to avoid them.
The institute's researchers have artificially generated supersonic waves almost close to vibrations released by bats and succeeded in reducing the number of fruit-piercing moths to one-fifth of the quantity in the past. The institute said a high effect could be expected if it unravels the optimum vibration of bats and develops an oscillation device.
The extermination of fruit-piercing moths by agrochemicals was difficult, while netting fruit trees brought an excellent result but required an enormous amount of work. Moth-prevention lights had an insufficient impact on them and a bad effect on the environment.
The institute said the fruit damage prevention technology could go into actual use if the number of fruit-piercing moths drops to 1/20th of their quantity. It plans to complete its basic research by 2008 utilizing state funding based on a 'project to advance agricultural and fishery research by utilizing high technology.'

For inquiries, please contact Tokushima Fruit Tree Research Institute (Tel: 088-694-2712) URL: http://www.green.pref.tokushima.jp/kaju/