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Mosquito control using drone to combat insects

By Trae Harris and Emily Brown

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    SANFORD, Michigan (WNEM) — Sections of exposed areas of what used to be Sanford Lake have been serving as a habitat for mosquitos.

Since the area is hard to navigate on foot, Midland County Mosquito Control decided to work smarter and not harder.

Mosquito control now has a new drone to combat those pesky insects.

If anyone has recently spent some time out by Sanford Lake, there’s a good chance a drone has been seen flying over the land that once was filled with water.

That drone is playing an important part in preventing new mosquitoes from growing in the area.

“We now have the option of using the drone. And the advantage is, it will be able to fly above really hard areas to get to with a foot crew. So, instead of sending them in and risking them getting injured, or just a really tough [treatment], we have the option of using the drone technology to fly above the area and drop the material down in standing water,” explained Carl Doud, director for Midland County Mosquito Control.

This is how they stop mosquito larvae in their tracks before they ever become adults.

“Mosquitoes, really high populations of mosquitoes, come from these habitats far more than they do ponds. And there’s an abundance of this habitat here in the lake bed following the failure of the dams, that led to a lot of area opening that could serve as mosquito habitat,” he said.

So far with the new equipment, mosquito control has been able treat about 60 acres of Sanford Lake.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of more efficiency and be able to do a lot more with the larval control as the time goes on and we get more and more competent with it,” Doud said.

After Midland mosquito control becomes more familiar with the drone operations, they plan to acquire a couple more drones to their fleet.

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