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Posted Thu Aug 18 2011: from Wired:
Science Zapping bugs with microwaves could replace pesticides
Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory are investigating whether microwaves can be used to kill insects and other pests, such as slugs and snails, instead of chemical pesticides. The right wave frequency can cause damage to the insect's structure, causing it to explode, or can simply interfere with its communication or reproductive system. Microwaves of up to 100 gigahertz are being tested to see whether they can be used as a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly way of exterminating certain pests. Whereas chemical pesticides don't discriminate between species, microwaves could be tailored to target insects of a certain size and structure. Finding the right resonant frequency to cause the damage to the bugs is a bit of trial and error.
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