When one thinks of drones, one sees a machine flying in the sky taking pictures. One sees a quiet, tiny UAV that hovers in the air while recording videos. Heck, we can even see drones as transportation in the near future.
But what any of you did not think of, and I highly doubt it even crossed your minds, is that drones as mosquito control. Didn’t think about that, huh?
In Flathead County, Montana, you may very well see the first of many anti-mosquito drones all over the country. This daring and unique project received the green light last Monday after a vote amongst the county’s commissioners.
The project originated from the area’s health department. The county has had its fair share of mosquito problems in the past. This project was actually already the second time the health department suggested using drones to combat mosquitos. Its first attempt ended up rejected because of concerns in aerial regulations when using drones.
Now with the plans approved and regulations regarding drone use reviewed, the project can continue. With no further delays in sight, the county moves on to its next phase.
For the plan to come to fruition, the drone will be equipped with insecticide tanks. The design is relatively similar to the seed-planting drone idea implemented in Australia. The drone is to release insecticides in the major sources of these insects. For preventive measure, the drone also targets areas that are difficult to reach by foot. Priority areas are the county’s flood regions. These locations are always teeming with mosquitoes due to the constant water presence. And with water presence in flood, you can always bet on stagnant water gathering somewhere. These stagnant waters are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. That is why a drone intervention is necessary to stop this cycle.
With the approval of the local council, the drone project received $25,000 in funding. This budget includes the price of the drone itself. The county is also to spend on the drone’s accessories including a camera and the miscellaneous parts for the insecticide chamber. The drone project will be ready for use by the summer of 2019, after it has passed inspections and testing.