Drones Now Being Used to Fight Mosquitos

Insect-borne diseases or vector-borne diseases account for seventeen percent of all diseases worldwide.  One million people die of these diseases every year, and 2.5 people globally are at risk of catching Dengue Fever, and this figure does not count other diseases such as Zika or Malaria.  And many mosquitos are becoming resistant to insecticides.  But there may be some hope when it comes to killing these guys, and one particularly novel idea involves using unmanned aircraft systems to flush out mosquitos in places humans cannot reach.

No, the plan is not to drop bombs on the infected mosquitos.  Instead the drones will fly to areas with high mosquito activity and release sterile male mosquitoes into mosquito colonies.  What?  More mosquitos?  How does that solve anything?  No, not more mosquitos, but less.  If sterile male mosquitoes are released into a colony of mosquitoes the sterile male will reproduce with the infected female, and therefore, a next generation of offspring will fail to develop.  This technology will result in a drastic decrease in mosquito populations.  Despite a few skeptics this technology is well underway at several different tech companies.

How might drastically reducing the mosquito population affect our environment and other insects and animals?

Leave a Comment

Scroll To Top