Drones – camera mounts, aerial explorers, and now – rat exterminators. Yes, it seems scientists in the Galapagos Islands looked into the possibility of drones doing the rat hunting for them. Similar to farmers using drones for pesticide or water distribution, scientists plan to use drones to spread rat poison. This is a more targeted approach, ensuring that areas infested with rats receive poison, while leaving the rest untouched.
Rats have been a problem for as long as humanity existed. They spread plague and other disease from area to area. Even now, they ruin crops, infest water supplies, and of course, carry diseases wherever they go. Solutions over the years came in the form of cages, traps, and even sticky floor paper. However, when it comes to clearing out rat infestation at a larger scale, say, entire islands’ worth, the approach needs to be trickier.
Since there are more than rats in the area, it can be a difficult thing to simply scatter poison nonchalantly. Not only will ensuring the rats get the poison involve more resources, it can also endanger the other creatures in the area. Flooding the areas with rat poison pellets is definitely not the solution scientists were looking for.
Rats can create large groups, while also being able to infiltrate areas easily. If they were to drop poison into all surrounding areas, other animals may get into trouble. Animals like birds and other creatures that consider the islands their home may also receive a dose of poison. Using drones loaded with rat pellets, they can swiftly cover more ground while ensuring the rats meet their ends.
A Droning Approach
Drones have excellent reach when it comes to covering areas. They can fly for up to half an hour at a time. They have mounted cameras, which one can easily switch with more targeted tools like thermal vision. One can use this to check a wide range of areas at a time. It is far more efficient, and can be done with less manpower. Adding that to the drone approach of scattering the poison itself, and you have a great combination.