The Science Behind SolaRid™
SolaRid™ is a sustainable, solar powered Insect Control Device (ICD) that uses innovative technology to attract and kill insects.
Mechanisms of attraction:
• Light: The primary attractant is a combination of LED and refracted electroluminescent light (EL). The frequency of EL light is generated from engineered phosphor powders contained in the panel and creates the light spectrums that nocturnal flying insects are most attracted to.
• Semiochemicals: Pheromones are the chemicals emitted by animals and insects to attract a mating partner. The pheromones of female insects are absorbed into activated charcoal, mixed with a polymer matrix that is UV cured on the back surface of the EL panel. This integrated attracting panel uses special light emitting phosphors to moderately heat the pheromones to enhance their release which attracts male insects to the SolaRid device.
The key to this technology is the benefit of the remarkably thin-screen attracting panel. It is commercially manufactured by a proprietary additive process, screen printing 23 layers of a single EL panel economically on large conveyors to achieve the desired electrical, optical and scent elements that allow the system to operate from electrical pulses of the desired voltage and frequency.
Proprietary formulas of host plant volatiles, kairomones, are used as a food scent to attract both male and female insects. Different compositions are pelletized and placed in interchangeable screen canisters in the device for specific applications.
Kairomone compounds strongly synergize insect attraction to pheromones, the combination substantially increases effectiveness. This strategy is particularly effective in situations that lack viable alternatives; as an example, controlling certain species of beetles that infest vegetables, conifer and pine trees, Codling moth (Cydia pomonella), the primary pest in apple orchards and Navel orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) moth. Navel Orangeworm is the primary pest in California’s vast almond industry. In this example, a ground almond-pistachio meal blend, combined with host plant volatiles is used as the kairomone-based attractant.
The scent of both Semiochemcials leaves the SolaRid device under forced convection by a small 30mm fan.
• Acoustic Technology: While we all know that insects are attracted to light, did you also know that the sound that power lines emit contributes to the droves of insects that swarm around street lights? Insects attracted by long and medium-range light and semiochemical cues, are then further attracted by specific sound frequencies. Acoustic devices of various sizes and power levels have been used successfully for many years to trap insect pests that exhibit phonotaxis or other orientation behaviors, including moths, flies, cockroaches and certain beetles. Eight different sound frequencies, matched to the attraction of varied species of insects are emitted each 30 seconds, controlled by piezoelectric speakers operate in the SolaRid unit targeting both male and female insects to maximize attraction.
• The Proprietary EL Light Panel: Lines of a conductive nickel ink, positive and negative electrodes are screen printed onto a flat non-conductive, transparent acrylic panel (EL light panel) in an interleaved pattern. Layered in the panel are the engineered phosphorous powders creating the EL light source that directs light through the panel to attract insects; on the front side is the electrified, formatted killing grid.
The current levels of the high voltage grid can be selected for the most delicate or increased for the toughest creatures. While the grid on the panel does electrocute the insect, it does not burn them. It works more like a Taser which delivers electric current to disrupt voluntary control of muscles causing neuromuscular incapacitation, resulting in death of the insect and eliminates the risk of fire from burnt insect sparks.
The EL Panel is replaced annually along with the interchangeable LED’s and pheromone compounds with corresponding kairomone selected at the factory for specific applications controlling different insects, dictated by crop type or environment. The replacement panel is delivered in airtight, Mylar packaging to protect Semiochemicals.
The SolaRid™ device has a design life of 10 years, powered by solar energy stored in a lithium ion phosphate battery, operated by proprietary firmware in microprocessors of custom printed circuit boards.