Mosquitoes are public enemy number one. These slender species of insects have been tormenting humans for centuries. With so many species of mosquitoes, we are not nearly close to getting rid of them. If these pesky insects only bite and leave you be, we might not have that much of a problem with them.
Bees sting, and it hurts considerably more than a mosquito bite. But we still intentionally protect them because they are eternally useful for giving us, honey.
Mosquitoes, however, only give us dangerous diseases such as Zika fever, Malaria, Dengue fever, West Nile fever, Filariasis, etc.
Mosquitoes, both male and female, can feed on nectar but they prefer a blood meal since it contains proteins that help the female develop her eggs. Since the human flesh is quite softer compared to most other animals, we are a favorite victim.
Mosquitoes have a relatively short lifespan. The females live for up to 56 days while the males last up to 10 days. The female mosquitoes are the ones that suck blood since they need it to develop their eggs.
A female mosquito will feed on blood typically until its abdomen is full. In case it is interrupted before then, it just goes on to the next person and continues. After which it goes to rest and then lays its eggs. Once it is done, the cycle begins again.
A mosquito can lay up to five clutches during its lifetime. Typically, a clutch can contain more than one hundred eggs. Now you have a good idea why they are such nuisances.
When a mosquito bites a person infected with malaria, they transfer the virus to the next person they feed off. This is typically how mosquitoes peddle disease.
It might be unusual to think of drones and mosquitoes in the same string of thought. Unless you are thinking about the buzzing sound they both make.
Drones are definitely here to stay as they have become quite useful to humans.
They are used in many different areas of human activities ranging from warfare to agriculture, surveillance to photography, as well as recreational purposes. They give us a birds-eye view of things covering a large area at once.
Several vistas we couldn’t perceive before have now become commonplace. All thanks to these sets of technological ingenuity.
Drones are useful. Mosquitoes are a menace
Drones have yet again found another way of making human life easier and interesting. They have now joined in the war between humans and mosquitoes. Luckily for us, they are on our side.
Drones are now being deployed in different ways to help us curb mosquito infestations. These blood-thirsty insects are estimated to infect more than 200 million people per year on a global scale. Furthermore, they end up causing the deaths of approximately half a million people every year.
You would agree that this is more than enough reason to intensify our war against mosquitoes. Some of the ways drones are deployed in our bid to control mosquitoes are highlighted below.
Mapping and surveillance
It is general knowledge that mosquitoes lay eggs in aquatic habitats such as irrigated rice farms, water-logged culverts, river fringes, puddles, etc. In most cases, as if mosquitoes know what is going on, they lay their eggs in remote areas. Areas that are not conveniently accessible, giving their eggs better chances of survival.
Government authorities for public health need to know the location of these breeding and nesting zones to aid whatever control measures they want to adopt. You can’t deal with mosquitoes if you can’t find them.
This is where drones for mosquito control come in. They give us the advantage of aerial viewing which makes it a lot easier to map out a large expanse of land to pinpoint the parts where mosquitoes dwell.
Before the advent of drones, the mapping was being done manually (which requires a lot of manpower and time). In all honesty, the battle between man and mosquitoes is time-based. The longer we wait, the more mosquitoes to deal with.
In terms of surveilling and mapping mosquitoes’ stronghold, drones have given us a massive advantage by saving us a lot of time and energy.
Another way drones are deployed to aid the war against mosquitoes is by using them to apply mosquito treatment aerially after they have helped us map out areas where these bloodsuckers dwell and breed. We can put them to further use by using drones fitted with tanks to administer treatment to those remote areas.
A 100 acre of land might take a few individuals days to administer mosquito treatment. With the use of a specialized mosquito drone, the treatment will be spread on the same land in just a day.
Insect drones are often used to spray larvicide, with more precision, over breeding zones to kill mosquito larvae before they become adults. Killing the larvae before they hatch is an effective approach in our bid to control mosquitoes.
As for the adult mosquitoes, other means of control are adopted.
This might seem counter-productive in our aim to control mosquitoes but by the time you are done the reading, you will have a better understanding.
This method is quite an ingenious one. It involves deploying sterile male mosquitoes into a mosquito-infested zone.
The idea is for these sterile male mosquitoes to mate with infected females. Since these females will not lay eggs anymore, over time these infected females will die out. This is a smooth way to essentially boot out infected mosquitoes.
A bug drone that is specially built with a chamber that houses hibernated mosquitoes is deployed to remote areas that are difficult to reach by humans. These drones then release the sterile mosquitoes to infiltrate the infested areas and start the process.
Another advantage of this approach, which has been stated earlier, is the speed of delivery. It will take considerably longer time for humans to find their way to these remote areas and deploy the mosquitoes.
The use of drones is a great leap forward in the war against mosquitoes and the diseases they spread. As good as the use of drones is, there are still some issues that might affect its efficacy.
Since mosquitoes are more rampant in areas that are consequently not so exposed to technological advancements, it requires a lot of explanation to deploy drones there.
The method of deploying sterile mosquitoes is especially difficult as the locales already see mosquitoes as harbingers of illnesses and death. So, to deploy more of them will need a lot of patience, dialog, and express permissions.
Legislations and privacy are also an issue but as time goes on, adjustments will be made to balance things out for the good of all concerned.