Florida county to use drones for battling mosquitoes


May 24, 2018

Lee County, Florida, was one of 10 sites in the U.S. approved by the federal government to test drones. They were the only site selected in the program that will use drone technology for pest control management — including battling mosquitoes.

Eric Jackson, a public information officer at the Lee County Mosquito Control District in southwestern Florida, and his team submitted an application to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. The FAA in a statement this week, indicated it had received 149 formal proposals from across the country. “I’m getting inundated with drone operators that want jobs,” Jackson says.

The county’s mosquito control operations will be testing out drone technology to battle mosquitoes. Under the program, authorities are able to fly drones in ways that are not permitted under the current laws, including testing drones at low altitudes, directly over people and at night.

Jackson says the county already uses small aircraft and helicopters to address pest problems, according to CNBC. His team is hoping to be able to test and use a 1,500-pound drone as part of its operation to combat mosquitoes. Lee County is the only site selected for the program that will use the drone technology for pest control management.


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