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ECU researcher working to eradicate destructive timber pest

Thursday, 28 May 2009

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ECU's Associate Professor Adam Osseiran has developed an innovative device to eradicate the destructive timber pest European House Borer (EHB) in WA.

EHB can remain undetected in seasoned timber including pine, fir and spruce and has already been found on 144 properties throughout the State. EHB is usually identified by an 'exit hole' in the timber but often by this stage the pest has already spread to other areas.

Professor Osseiran has been working with Master of Engineering student Ivo Jacquemai to develop a device that uses microphones to identify, characterise and differentiate the sounds of EHB larvae. The signal is wirelessly transmitted to a computer where specialised software is used to analyse the signals and determine the presence of EHB.

The device provides a non-destructive method of detection before significant damage occurs, and there are currently a number of devices currently in use by the Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food.

Professor Osseiran met with Minister for Agriculture and Food, the Hon Terry Redman MLA, this week following the announcement that the State Government has committed just over $2 million in funding to stamp out EHB.

Over the next two years, further research and testing will be undertaken before a more user-friendly device is produced. The Department plans to purchase and install 1,000 units across the Perth metropolitan area.

Professor Adam Osseiran works at the Electron Science Research Institute in the Faculty of Computing, Health and Science.

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