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This idea is inspired by the "mosquito tracker system" [link].
Specifically, by using several microphones (I'm thinking 4) one listens for the sounds made by female mosquitos, and uses differences in amplitude or phase to identify the location of the sound's origin.
Second, use a laser to check
that there's a clear line of site from the gadget to the bug.
Third, track the insect with the laser. It shouldn't be hot enough to burn instantly, just warm the insect up enough to dehydrate it over the course of a second or two (turning off as soon as the sound stops). Because the laser is of such a low power, it reduces the risk of damaging/injuring non-targets.
The reason we only go after female mosquitos is twofold: one, only the females make that whining sound, and two, only the females drink blood.
Adapting the system to destroy bugs other than female mosquitos (e.g. gnats or other pest bugs) would require changing from passive listening to active sonar. And discriminating between pest bugs and good bugs.
[goldbb, Feb 17 2009]
More Midges and Lasers [zen_tom, Feb 18 2009]
Investigating the role of Mosquito Whine in their mating habits
"When one sex was flying, and heard the other sex, they started to synchronize their "music." When it was the female who started flying, as normally happens in the wild, the man on the make matched her frequency within one second." [zen_tom, Feb 18 2009]
||[+]. I've been lamenting the fact that the mosquito tracker market has been dominated by male units for quite some time.
||I'm glad I'm not the only one who immediately pictured Lara Croft with a tiny butterfly net, binoculars and a notebook.
||I suggest multiple lasers that only generate enough heat at their intersection
||The midge laser idea is very cool, and very close to my idea, but I don't see the advantage of making it voice activated -- surely we want to kill the little buggers the instant they're detected, not wait around for someone to say something.
||Also, I don't see the advantage of using enough power to incinerate the bugs (which could potentially start a fire, since some of the laser energy will inevitably go past the bug) when dehydrating them will suffice.