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Fighting mosquitoes with small drones

Published on: 02-Mar-2015

In many parts of the world, mosquitoes are responsible for a variety of illnesses for both humans and domestic animals, like Malaria, Chikungunya, Dog Heartworm, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Zika virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, LaCrosse, Encephalitis, Western Equine Encephalitis and the West Nile Virus. Many of them can be lethal as well.

Nearly 700 million people get a mosquito borne illness each year resulting in greater than one million deaths…

The first US project

Now the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has initiated a project, to search for the mosquito breeding grounds, using drones, equipped with infra-red sensitive camera’s. These cameras can determine small shallow water pools from within varied rural areas.

Finding these pools quickly means the authorities can than treat the areas with larvicide in order to destroy both the eggs and the larves.


Creative Commons: Enrique Dans

Domestic areas
Mosquitoes have a fly range from up to 3 miles, so this ring around domestic areas is sufficient enough to gain a large effect.

Project improvement
We would encourage more research on this subject, whereby special designed software, automatically fixes the date/time, coordinates and the size of the suspected pools. With the use of GPS/smartphone/mapping, the larve destroy team than can quickly treat the locations.

In the war against mosquitos, drones can really make the difference. A additional benefit is not only the additional employment in operating such a project, but also the people’s awareness towards the positive aspects of drones.

By Ruud van der Lem,



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