Florida is going to war with mosquitos using this surprising tactic

Jun 25, 2024

Mosquitoes are one of the annoyances of enjoying time outside.

One state is getting creative to try and wipe them out.

Now Florida is going to war with mosquitos using this surprising tactic.

Broward County, Florida is using drones to fight mosquitos

The start of summer means spending time outdoors with friends and family. 

It is also the peak of mosquito season in many parts of the country.

Mosquitos are not just an annoyance for people spending time outside, they are one of the biggest spreaders of disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called them the “world’s deadliest animal” because the diseases they spread are responsible for killing 700,000 people globally every year.

Now Broward County, Florida is taking the fight to eradicate mosquitoes to the next level with technology.

The county is leasing drones that carry 15 pounds worth of bug spray which is enough to blanket three acres.

“It’s made a huge difference,” Leading Edge Aerial Technologies employee Cody Cash, the company that rents the drones, said.

Previously, exterminators would have to spend days navigating water, mud, and brush to find mosquito nests.

“These poor guys who have to go in there,” stated Broward County Public Works official Anh Ton.

Now drones can cover more areas in a faster time and easily get to places that are hard to reach for humans.

A drone can cover 100 acres in about four hours.

Cash said a “guy would be out there for two to four days depending on wetness level.”

Broward had previously used the drones to scout locations to send in exterminators.

Drones fly pre-planned routes and return to have their batteries swapped out before going out again.

The county began renting them for $3,000 a month as a more practical option compared to dropping bug spray via airplanes or helicopters. 

Disease-carrying mosquitoes being targeted with drones

Broward County is after Aedes mosquitoes because of the specific diseases that they spread.

This common breed of mosquito in South Florida is known for spreading yellow fever, dengue virus, chikungunya, and Zika virus.

The Florida Department of Health said that Miami-Dade County had 74 reported dengue cases and Broward County had 30.

Dengue is a tropical disease that in rare cases can become life-threatening.

“We know it’s coming, and we know it’s coming our way and the best way to prevent dengue is to reduce the mosquito population,” Ton said.

Mosquito-fighting drones are becoming more common around the country as a more efficient option to battle these disease-carrying insects.

Orange County, California Mosquito and Vector Control District official Kiet Nguyen said that drones were allowing his department to make precision strikes against mosquitoes.

“We’re always looking for advancements in technology — what can get the job (done) more efficient, more beneficial to the team and less invasive,” Nguyen said.

The use of drones last year cut down on diseases reported like West Nile Virus. 

“It’s more of a battle,” Nguyen said. “You’re not going to win the war against mosquitoes, but you can gain some ground. And with advancements in technology, we’re gaining ground.”

Drones could be the game changer in keeping mosquito populations under control.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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