A Complete Guide for Effective Pest Detection and its Key Advantages

Applied Tech Review | Friday, October 01, 2021

The implementation of the Internet of Things in the agriculture sector has resulted in significant advancement in on-filed pest management. A farm owner can now use various sensors to monitor pest growth and take additional countermeasures to manage them.

Fremont, CA: Insects and rodents have always been a source of frustration for farmers. They feed on their efforts and infest crops, causing various diseases to spread. Controlling and maintaining their population is thus critical for a farmer in order to ensure crop health.

Pesticides and insecticides have been extremely effective in preventing infestations. They do, however, have different environmental and social consequences. Excessive pesticide use can contaminate water and soil, as well as intoxicate plants with harmful chemicals. Furthermore, with continuous exposure, insects and bugs become resistant to them, forcing farmers to rely on stronger pesticides. Other methods, such as genetic seed manipulation, are used to make crops more resistant to pest attack, but they are prohibitively expensive for practical application.

The implementation of the Internet of Things in the agriculture sector has resulted in significant advancement in on-filed pest management. A farm owner can now use various sensors to monitor pest growth and take additional countermeasures to manage them. The following is a list of various sensors that are used to detect and track the growth of insects.

Fluorescence Image Sensing

The amount of chlorophyll present in a plant is measured using this method based on changes in fluorescence parameters. An optical camera captures images of plant leaves and compares them to previously captured images of healthy leaves. The presence of pathogens or pests is indicated by changes in chlorophyll patterns.

Despite the fact that this method detects the presence of pests in a crop, its field applicability is severely limited due to scalability issues. Furthermore, this method is only applicable to crops that contain chlorophyll.

High-Power Thermal Sensors

Low-power image sensors capture only random images of insects visible to the naked eye. Pathogens ranging in millimeters, on the other hand, cause a variety of crop diseases in the fields.

Thermography is a technique for measuring the amount of light reflected by a surface that employs thermal and infrared sensors. Every surface reflects a unique amount of light energy, which is referred to as its spectral signature. Plants and soil have a unique spectral spectrum that has been pre-recorded in spectrometers. If a pathogen coats the surface of the plant's leaves, the spectrum range of the plant changes, indicating a pest attack. This method is extremely effective at detecting insects and their stages of life. This method, however, is costly and susceptible to changes in environmental conditions.

Gas Sensors

Plants produce specific volatile chemical compounds when stressed. These compounds differ depending on how stressed they are. For example, a compound secreted as a result of environmental change will be distinct from a compound secreted due to pest infestation. As a result, these compounds must be studied before they can be used to identify attacks caused by bugs or rodents.

After these compounds have been studied, a gas sensor can be used to identify pest attacks or the type and nature of the infection. The only disadvantage of these methods is the sampling needed to collect volatile compounds for data analysis.

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