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BugVibe LLC did not have your typical start-up. Bill Nicholson, a successful entrepreneur (BugVibe LLC is his third company preceding two technology based companies), was looking to start a new company. For years, his passion had been in taking care of a two-acre lot full of gardens, mounds, flowers, and fruit trees. In friendship and rivalry, Bill and his brother have an annual bet about who can grow the biggest pumpkin, tomato, and largest sweet potato. For many years, the two brothers whined and complained about having to pick Japanese beetles off their plants. In bad years, Bill's prized peaches, weeks before ripening, became black with beetles. Beetles were especially bad on peaches, grapes, basil, wisteria, sweet potatoes, hibiscus, cherries, and apricots.

Bill and his brother tried many methods of getting rid of the Japanese beetle plague. Spraying when fruit was close to harvest was out of the question due to safety concerns. Milky Spore was tried, but Milky Spore is only effective if most of the land within several miles utilizes it. Japanese beetle traps were tried, but as documented by many university studies, the traps attract as many beetles as they repel to your yard. Both brothers would spend hours a day in their yards shaking and picking the insects off.

During 2008 and 2009, Bill secretly conducted extensive experiments of shaking trees by hand and picking beetles. He observed and read about the habits of beetles. He finally figured out that beetles did not like movement at certain times and under certain conditions.

Japanese Beetles 1 Soybean Plant Tomato on Scale

To solve this plague, Bill conceived the idea of BugVibes™. BugVibes™ is a device attached directly to a plant or connected through an attachment to target particular insect problems and specific varieties of plants. The device measures environmental and other conditions and produces vibrations in the plant that are matched to those conditions. Bill worked secretly to develop the product and began working on preliminary production models in 2009 and 2010. Turning on and off vibrations proved to be easy, but producing complex movement (in combination with vibrations compensated for conditions) proved to be very challenging.

As Bill was developing BugVibes™, Bill further experimented and founds that certain birds like robins (eating cherries off his cherry trees), box elder bugs, squash vine borers, and other bugs also didn’t like vibrations.

After applying for the patent and bringing on an excellent team, the BugVibes™ product line was ready to go to market. Now that the horrendous task of daily picking beetles off their favorite plants is much smaller, the two brothers can now go back to fighting over who has the biggest tomato!