An electric field strongly deters whiteflies from entering window-open greenhouses in an electrostatic insect exclusion strategy

  • 399 Accesses

  • 4 Citations


Dual functions (insect repelling and capturing) of a single-charged dipolar electric field screen were evaluated to successfully exclude whiteflies from a window-open greenhouse. The screen consisted of three parts: 1) insulated conductor wires (ICWs) arrayed in parallel at 5 mm intervals, 2) two earthed stainless nets placed within 3 mm of both sides of the ICW layer, and 3) a voltage generator for the negatively charged ICWs. The screen formed two electric fields between the ICW-layer and the ICW-side surface of the earthed net and between the ICWs. At negative charging of 1.5–2.5 kV, all whiteflies reaching the outer surface of the screen net avoided entering the electric field and flew away from the screen. This avoidance was disturbed by 3 m s−1 wind, as the insects were compulsorily blown inside. However, almost all whiteflies (99.4 %) were captured with the ICW. These results indicate that the insect-capturing function is effective to complement a failure to repel. A greenhouse assay was conducted in the screen-attached and non-screened parts in which a greenhouse was divided with a partition. During the 3-month operation, the screen was durable and functional for excluding pests, and better air ventilation changed the climate conditions in the greenhouse. Thus, the present study demonstrated that our electric field screen can provide an airy condition for tomatoes in a window-open greenhouse and successfully exclude whiteflies using dual screen functions.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Griffith, W. T. (2004). Electrostatic phenomena. In D. Bruflodt & B. S. Loehr (Eds.), The physics of everyday phenomena, a conceptual introduction to physics (pp. 232–252). New York: McGraw-Hill.

  2. Halliday, D., Resnick, R., & Walker, J. (2005). Electric fields. In S. Johnson & E. Ford (Eds.), Fundamentals of physics (pp. 580–604). New York: Wiley.

  3. Horowitz, A. R., Kontsedalov, S., & Ishaaya, I. (2004). Dynamics of resistance to the neonicotinoids acetamiprid and thiamethoxam in Bemisia tabacci (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 97, 2051–2056.

  4. Jonassen, N. (2002). Abatement of static electricity. In Electrostatics (pp. 101–120). Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

  5. Kakutani, K., Matsuda, Y., Haneda, K., Nonomura, T., Kimbara, J., Osamura, K., et al. (2012a). Insects are electrified in an electric field by deprivation of their negative charge. Annals of Applied Biology, (in press).

  6. Kakutani, K., Matsuda, Y., Haneda, K., Sekoguchi, D., Nonomura, T., Kimbara, J., et al. (2012b). An electric field screen prevents captured insects from escaping by depriving bioelectricity generated through insect movements. Journal of Electrostatics, (in press).

  7. Matsuda, Y., Ikeda, H., Moriura, N., Tanaka, N., Shimizu, K., Oichi, W., Nonomura, T., Kakutani, K., Kusakari, S., Higashi, K., & Toyoda, H. (2006). A new spore precipitator with polarized dielectric insulators for physical control of tomato powdery mildew. Phytopathology, 96, 967–974.

  8. Matsuda, Y., Nonomura, T., Kakutani, K., Takikawa, Y., Kimbara, J., Kasaishi, Y., Osamura, K., Kusakari, S., & Toyoda, H. (2011). A newly devised electric field screen for avoidance and capture of cigarette beetles and vinegar flies. Crop Protection, 30, 155–162.

  9. Moore, A. D. (1997). Electric fields. In Electrostatics (pp. 51–64). Carfornia: Laplacian Press.

  10. Moriura, N., Matsuda, Y., Oichi, W., Nakashima, S., Hirai, T., Nonomura, T., et al. (2006a). An apparatus for collecting total conidia of Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei from leaf colonies using electrostatic attraction. Plant Pathology, 55, 367–374.

  11. Moriura, N., Matsuda, Y., Oichi, W., Nakashima, S., Hirai, T., Sameshima, T., et al. (2006b). Consecutive monitoring of lifelong production of conidia by individual conidiophores of Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei on barley leaves by digital microscopic techniques with electrostatic micromanipulation. Mycological Research, 110, 18–27.

  12. Nauen, R., & Denholm, I. (2005). Resistance of insect pests to neonicotinoid insecticides: current status and future respects. Advances of Insects Biochemistry and Physiology, 58, 200–215.

  13. Newland, P. L., Hunt, E., Sharkh, S. M., Hama, N., Takahata, M., & Jackson, C. W. (2008). Static electric field detection and behavioural avoidance in cockroaches. Journal of Experimental Biology, 211, 3682–3690.

  14. Nonomura, T., Matsuda, Y., Bingo, M., Onishi, M., Matsuda, K., Harada, S., & Toyoda, H. (2001). Algicidal effect of 3-(3-indolyl)butanoic acid, a control agent of the bacterial wilt pathogen, Ralstonia solanacearum. Crop Protection, 20, 935–939.

  15. Nonomura, T., Matsuda, Y., Xu, L., Kakutani, K., Takikawa, Y., & Toyoda, H. (2009). Collection of highly germinative pseudochain conidia of Oidium neolycopersici from conidiophores by electrostatic attraction. Mycological Research, 113, 364–372.

  16. Palumbo, J. C., Horowitz, A. R., & Prabhaker, N. (2001). Insecticidal control and resistance management for Bemisia tabaci. Crop Protection, 20, 739–765.

  17. Prabhaker, N., Coudriet, D. L., & Meyerdirk, D. E. (1985). Insecticide resistance in the sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Homoptera: Aleyrodiae). Journal of Economic Entomology, 78, 748–752.

  18. Sharaf, N. (1986). Chemical control of Bemisia tabaci. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 17, 111–127.

  19. Shimizu, K., Matsuda, Y., Nonomura, T., Ikeda, H., Tamura, N., Kusakari, S., et al. (2007). Dual protection of hydroponic tomatoes from rhizosphere pathogens Ralstonia solanacearum and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici and airborne conidia of Oidium neolycopersici with an ozone-generative electrostatic spore precipitator. Plant Pathology, 56, 987–997.

  20. Tanaka, N., Matsuda, Y., Kato, E., Kokabe, K., Furukawa, T., Nonomura, T., Honda, K., Kusakari, S., Imura, T., Kimbara, J., & Toyoda, H. (2008). An electric dipolar screen with oppositely polarized insulators for excluding whiteflies from greenhouses. Crop Protection, 27, 215–221.

  21. Weintraub, P. G., & Berlinger, M. J. (2004). Physical control in greenhouses and field crops. In A. R. Horowitz & I. Ishaaya (Eds.), Insect pest management (pp. 301–318). Berlin: Springer.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Yoshinori Matsuda.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

(WMV 731 kb)

(WMV 11523 kb)

(WMV 6625 kb)

Video supplement 1

(WMV 731 kb)

Video Supplement 2

(WMV 11523 kb)

Video Supplement 3

(WMV 6625 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Nonomura, T., Matsuda, Y., Kakutani, K. et al. An electric field strongly deters whiteflies from entering window-open greenhouses in an electrostatic insect exclusion strategy. Eur J Plant Pathol 134, 661–670 (2012).

Download citation


  • Physical control
  • Hydroponic tomato
  • Whitefly