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Toys or Tools? Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Systems in Mosquito and Vector Control Programs

Faraji, Ary, Haas-Stapleton, Eric, Sorensen, Brad, Scholl, Marty, Goodman, Gary, Buettner, Joel, Schon, Scott, Lefkow, Nicholas, Lewis, Colin, Fritz, Bradley, Hoffmann, Clint, Williams, Greg and Brewer, Michael (2021) 'Toys or Tools? Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Systems in Mosquito and Vector Control Programs'. Journal of Economic Entomology. (In Press)

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Abstract

Organized mosquito control programs (MCP) in the United States have been protecting public health since the early 1900s. These programs utilize integrated mosquito management for surveillance and control measures to enhance quality of life and protect the public from mosquito-borne diseases. Because much of the equipment and insecticides are developed for agriculture, MCP are left to innovate and adapt what is available to accomplish their core missions. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are one such innovation that are quickly being adopted by MCP. The advantages of UAS are no longer conjectural. In addition to locating mosquito larval habitats, UAS affords MCP real-time imagery, improved accuracy of aerial insecticide applications, mosquito larval detection and sampling. UAS are also leveraged for applying larvicides to water in habitats that range in size from multi-acre wetlands to small containers in urban settings. Employing UAS can reduce staff exposure to hazards and the impact associated with the use of heavy equipment in sensitive habitats. UAS are utilized by MCP nationally and their use will continue to increase as technology advances and regulations change. Current impediments include a dearth of major UAS manufacturers of equipment that is tailor-made for mosquito control, pesticides that are optimized for application via UAS and regulations that limit the access of UAS to national airspace. This manuscript highlights the strengths and weaknesses of UAS within MCP, provides an update on systems and methods used, and charts the future direction of UAS technology within MCP tasked with public health protection.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 510 Mosquitoes
QX Parasitology > Insects. Other Parasites > QX 600 Insect control. Tick control
Faculty: Department: IVCC
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toab107
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 09:39
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2021 09:39
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/18850

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