The use of drones has quickly become an accepted part of the pest controllers armoury but mainly for surveying activities. Ever inventive, Italian manufacturer, Bleu Line, has taken this one step further forward for the commercial application of public health products, notably for mosquito control.
Judging by the enthusiastic reception on the Bleu Line – B.L. Group stand at the recent Pest-Protect event held in Bremen, the company is onto a winner. Used for the aerial application of insecticides, drones offer a practical, targeted and cost effective alternative.
Now well accepted for surveying work all across Europe, larger and more robust models have been developed by leading manufacturers, such as DJI, to perform spraying activities – a task which may have previously been undertaken by helicopters. But by using drones, the drawbacks of helicopter application are eliminated.
Models, such as the Drone MG-1 and the Drone MG-1S – or octocopter – are large and robust enough to carry up to 10 litres of liquid. The combination of speed and power means that an area of 4,000m2 to 6,000m2in just 10 minutes. Sophisticated features such as intelligent memory, terrain following via high precision microwave radars and advanced flight controllers ensures accurate and precision spraying.
|Used with Aquatain AMF for mosquito control
To date these drones have been used in Italy for the application of Aquatain AMF, a silicone-based mosquito larvicide, on rice paddy fields.
As Stefano Scarponi, export sales director for Bleu Line explains: “Using a drone is an ideal alternative to treatments with helicopters or planes. The wind drift effect with a drone is reduced by more than 90% thanks to the microwave radar systems and the GPS. This means it can pass just few centimetres above the crop, avoiding obstacles or even working on inclined terrain.
“Professional pest controllers can see the future uses. Treating wasps’ nests for example, area covered with pigeon guano and rubbish tips for flies. The use for malaria control could be fantastic and we have already had trials in Kenya. We have a meeting planned to discuss this project with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
On the Bleu Line – B.L. Group stand at PestProtect in Bremen.
Stefano Scarponi (right), export sales director with Jurij Bilandic Zajec,
export area manager East European and CIS countries