Solar-powered pest traps for the backyard?

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Credit. University of Minnesota

Gardeners in the southern hemisphere look towards the warmer months of 2014 with a sense of joy and expectation — this being the real growing season. Time to order that tubestock and grow a variety of plants, trees, herbs and vegetables feed and mulch the garden and watch the backyard bloom.

That’s the gardening theory anyway.

We’ve all had problems with pests, from fruit flies, to borers, to cabbage moths, to snails, to slugs and more. They are the bane of any gardener. However an article caught your correspondent’s eye during the past couple of days which made me think scientific innovation may, in years to come, be beneficial in keeping down some pests in the backyard using renewable energy.

The 2nd January article from Energy Matters covered the development and trial of a solar device in India to reduce the amount of pesticide in use by farmers. Overuse of pesticides is one of the chief threats to the environment, with pesticide runoff into rivers and water tables. This is not to mention the terrible health effects excessive pesticides cause to farmers’ health and consumers.

The trials in Tamil Nadu, India involve using a solar-powered device to attract the fruit borer and whitefly pests away from the farmers’ crops. Preliminary results have been encouraging suggesting that the amount of pesticide needed to control the pests may be reduced by 50 percent.

Now the combination of renewable energy and pest control may be just the ticket for long-suffering gardeners. Would a smaller version of a solar-powered pest control be an affordable pest control alternative for every backyard? Those pests attracted by the light may be controlled by a trap which uses the ultimate in renewable resources — the sun.

What do you think readers? Will we all see solar-powered pest controls in our backyards to protect against pests? Or would they do more damage than good, wiping out beneficial insects?

We’d be interested to hear your views either here in the comments section, or over at our popular Facebook Page.

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