Original Research

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

Gert J. Venter, Karien Labuschagne, Solomon N.B. Boikanyo, Liesl Morey
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 83, No 1 | a10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v83i1.10 | © 2012 Gert J. Venter, Karien Labuschagne, Solomon N.B. Boikanyo, Liesl Morey | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 March 2012 | Published: 07 November 2012

About the author(s)

Gert J. Venter, Agricultural Research Council – Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Parasites, Vectors & Vectorborne Diseases; Department of Veterinary & Tropical Diseases, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Karien Labuschagne, Agricultural Research Council – Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Parasites, Vectors & Vectorborne Diseases; Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Solomon N.B. Boikanyo, Agricultural Research Council – Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Parasites, Vectors & Vectorborne Diseases, South Africa
Liesl Morey, ARC-Biometry Unit, Hatfield, South Africa


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Abstract

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.

Keywords

African horsesickness; control; Culicoides imicola; electronic mosquito repellents; EMR; South Africa

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doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2015.04.006