February 18, 2016
Scientific Reports

Laser induced mortality of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes

Matthew D. Keller, David J. Leahy, Bryan J. Norton, ric Johanson, Emma R. Mullen, Maclen Marvit, Arty Makagon

Small, flying insects continue to pose great risks to both human health and agricultural production throughout the world, so there remains a compelling need to develop new vector and pest control approaches. Here, we examined the use of short (<25 ms) laser pulses to kill or disable anesthetized female Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes, which were chosen as a representative species. The mortality of mosquitoes exposed to laser pulses of various wavelength, power, pulse duration, and spot size combinations was assessed 24 hours after exposure. For otherwise comparable conditions, green and far-infrared wavelengths were found to be more effective than near- and mid-infrared wavelengths. Pulses with larger laser spot sizes required lower lethal energy densities, or fluence, but more pulse energy than for smaller spot sizes with greater fluence. Pulse duration had to be reduced by several orders of magnitude to significantly lower the lethal pulse energy or fluence required. These results identified the most promising candidates for the lethal laser component in a system being designed to identify, track, and shoot down flying insects in the wild.

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