Drones to Combat Mosquitoes?



The Miami Keys have problems with mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, including Dengue fever which is recently on the rise. Some of the disease vectors are salt marsh mosquitoes that breed in ponds that form from high tides or storms that flood the land. These temporary pools can create an environment for mosquito eggs to hatch and the larvae to thrive. Mosquito control, in part, depends on identifying these temporary bodies of water shortly after they appear and controlling the mosquito larvae.

Drones are unmanned aircraft. Small drones can fly at low altitudes using sensors that detect standing water. It may be possible to use drones to identify locations of new temporary ponds. Inspectors would be directed to mosquito breeding sites by the drone information and be able to treat site before adults emerge. Will this technology be effective? Florida will be testing the concept this year. With the right sensors, drone technology could greatly improve mosquito control efforts.

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is a retired Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
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2 Responses to Drones to Combat Mosquitoes?

  1. Wow.. that’s really great. If succeed we would also like to use this technique in out mosquito controlling activities.

  2. Eric Semssar says:

    This is a great idea. West Nile is very dangerous and many mosquito populations are getting out of control. This could be a game-changer in Indiana’s mosquito problem as well.

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