Fort Myers to Use Drones for More Efficient Larvae and Mosquito Detection
Forty Myers has a problem it wants to solve aerially. The Lee County Mosquito Control District aims to mitigate population growth via drone.
While we’ve reported on the seemingly strange intersection of unmanned aerial vehicles and mosquitoes before, Fort Myers isn’t planning on using drones to deploy the pesky flies, but rather, to detect more efficiently where they breed.
According to Tampa Bay Times, the Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) is planning on taking advantage of President Trump’s loosened drone regulations and testing drone tech to implement some much-needed population control in the area.
“We’re looking at methods where we could actually use that for surveillance to monitor and see where we have larvae in the county, places that are harder to get to,” said Eric Jackson, LCMCD public information officer. You see, before larvae actually become adult mosquitos, they’re notoriously difficult to track down.
It’s only once it’s too late that you can actually see them, which the LCMCD is planning on mitigating through drone technology. “Our inspectors are out in the field and in those places where those mosquitoes are breeding, and our inspectors are getting bitten,” said Jackson.
The UAS Integration Pilot Program, launched by the Trump administration last year, has recently added newcomers and additional test sites, in order to gather research, advance certain projects, and establish just exactly which kinds of drone implementations make sense, and how they could maximize certain industries.
While tracking down mosquitoes might not seem as important as aerial package delivery to some, it’s certainly an innovative way to combat an age-old problem. Drones are like any other tool and can either be used productively in an inventive, functional way or relegated to hobbyist activities or capturing basic aerial footage. The point is that all of these use cases are valid, and mitigating some extensive mosquito population growth is certainly valid, too.