Broward County Uses Drones To Fight Mosquitoes: REPORT


Jeff Charles Contributor
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Floridians in Broward County could be getting a welcome reprieve from mosquito bites this year, as officials are now reportedly employing drone technology to spray for the insects in certain areas.

The drone delivers about 15 pounds of spray, which can cover about three acres, according to the Sun Sentinel.

“It’s a huge difference,” said Cody Cash, an employee at Leading Edge Aerial Technologies, the company from which Broward County is renting the drone, according to the outlet.

Before the advent of drone technology, crews had to cover these areas on foot, a project that could require days of trudging through mud and trees, the Sun Sentinel noted. (RELATED: Public Health Officials in California Warn Of Rare, Locally-Acquired, Mosquito-Borne Virus)

The drone is flying in areas populated by Aedes mosquitoes, which lay their eggs before going on to harass residents as they try to enjoy the outdoors. The Greek name Aedes means “unpleasant,” an apt term for describing the blood-sucking pests.

These mosquitoes can carry several deadly diseases, including dengue, a viral infection that causes a seven-day fever, severe headaches, nausea, skin rashes, sore throat, and other symptoms.

Miami-Dade County reported 74 cases of dengue in May, the most of any county in the state, while Broward reported 30, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Up to this point, Broward County has been using drones primarily for surveilling areas that needed spraying, according to the Sun Sentinel. But a pilot program showed that carrying out drone strikes against mosquitoes was a promising solution.

The drone is used for three minutes at a time, flying a mapped-out route to the target area before having its battery replaced and being sent out for another run, the outlet explained.

“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,” said Anh Ton, the director of Broward County’s Highway & Bridge Maintenance Division.