The effect of high frequency sound on Culicoides numbers collected with suction light traps

10 Apr 2013

Culicoides midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), are involved in the transmission of various pathogens that cause important diseases of livestock worldwide. The use of insect repellents to reduce the attack rate of these insects on livestock could play an important role as part of an integrated control programme against diseases transmitted by these midges. The objective of this study was to determine whether high frequency sound has any repellent effect on Culicoides midges. The number of midges collected with 220 V Onderstepoort white light traps fitted with electronic mosquito repellents (EMRs), emitting 5-20 KHz multi-frequency sound waves, was compared with that of two untreated traps. Treatments were rotated in two replicates of a 4 x 4 randomised Latin square design. Although fewer midges were collected in the two traps fitted with EMRs, the average number collected over eight consecutive nights was not significantly different. The EMRs also had no influence on any of the physiological groups of Culicoides imicola Kieffer or the species composition of the Culicoides population as determined with light traps. The results indicate that high frequency sound has no repellent effect on Culicoides midges. There is therefore no evidence to support their promotion or use in the protection of animals against pathogens transmitted by Culicoides midges.