Mosquito Control drone

Greg Fischer Editor-in-chief
Director of Mosquito Control David Matassa speaks with the media.

Ascension Parish Mosquito Control recently made an upgrade. They will now use drone technology when faced with certain tasks.

Parish officials and local media met at Lamar-Dixon on June 27, 2017 for a demonstration and explanation of this new use of droning.

The drone can carry up to 20 pounds of pesticide, insecticide or fertilizer. That being said, it is somewhat larger than the toy you may have been flying around the man-cave since Christmas. In fact, it measures about four feet across.

Moreover, this particular drone is powerful enough to carry a weapon, if anyone is curious.

Aside from showing off the new tool, the true purpose of the gathering was a training session for mosquito control workers. Several makes and models of drones were on hand. Each guided by a state-of-the-art remote control.

Adam Shaw, President and CEO of Maverick Drone Systems, told the media that this drone can cover 7-10 acres on full battery charge. The purpose of the machine is to efficiently and quickly get to areas that workers have traditionally struggled with. This includes low-lying, deep ditches and large fields that may be topped with several inches of water.

"The technology is one that if the battery starts to get week it comes back to home base where you started from," Director of Mosquito Control, David Matassa said.

Matassa said that the cost of the drone is about $8,000, or the same as one of the spray machines in the back of the trucks. Like anything, it also costs to insure the drone.

Moving on, the spray machines in the back of the trucks use what is known in the industry as adultcide when they spray.

"But this is more effective because when you larvacide, you're going to the birthplace of mosquitos," Matassa said. "They have to have water to breed. Okay, they go in stages: from the egg, then they hatch. We eliminate those stages when we larvacide with insecticide. We're preventing them from becoming adult. We're stunting their growth."

Lastly, Matassa added that the birds can drink the water with the products that are being used nowadays.