Journal of Economic Entomology (2018) 111, 1323-1329
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Evaluation of low-energy microwaves technology (Termatrac) for detecting western drywood termite in a simulated drywall system
Journal of Economic Entomology 111 (3), 1323-1329
Abstract: Detecting drywood termites in structures is very challenging. Microwaves technology (Termatrac T3i) is a nondestructive method for detecting drywood termites in structures. Termatrac device and its mobile application provide a bar as well as a line graph when detecting insect movements, but interpreting these graphs is very subjective. In this paper, Termatrac's output signal is quantified using a new method to study the effect of wall layers, wood type, and termite density on signal strength measured as area under curve in a simulated drywall system in laboratory. Two experiments were conducted on Termatrac T3i at its maximum sensitivity (Gain: 10). In experiment I, HEXBUG Nano was used as a source of movement/vibration and two wood types were used in which the wall layers significantly predicted signal strength, but wood type did not. In experiment II, two different densities of live western drywood termites, Incisitermes minor (Hagen) (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae), were used to study the effect of termite density on signal strength. Interestingly, termite density did not significantly predict signal strength. The maximum reliable wood depth for detecting termites was 5 cm. Microwaves produced by Termatrac also showed good penetration into drywall and produced detectable signals even on a single drywood termite which confirms manufacturer's claim. Suggestions on using and improving microwaves technology for detecting termites is provided which can potentially be applied to other types of insects and noninsect animals.
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Database assignments for author(s): Siavash Taravati
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