The Lee County Mosquito Control District is exploring the idea of using drones to aid in the fight to control the disease-carrying pests.

“A big focus in what we’re doing now is looking at what are called UAS which are Unmanned Aerial Systems,” said Eric Jackson, LCMCD Public Information Officer.

He explains that drones have more uses than most people think.

“We’re looking at methods where we could actually use that for surveillance to monitor and see where we have larvae in the county, places that are harder to get to,” Jackson said.

Currently, inspectors have the difficult task of locating mosquito larvae before they become adults.

“Our inspectors are out in the field and in those places where those mosquitoes are breeding,” Jackson said, “and our inspectors are getting bitten.”

Drones would relieve them of that duty, plus save time and money.

“Where it takes them eight hours to do 10 acres, you. And do 10 acres in about an hour,” said Bill Reynolds, President and Owner of Leading Edge Associates.

So with all of those benefits, why aren’t they using drones yet?

“Being a government agency, the rules may be different for us than it would be for a private citizen or even a private company,” Jackson said.

And those rules aren’t even written yet.

“What we need to do is make sure that we’re complying and the FAA is working on those rules as we speak,” Jackson said.

So for now, their timeline is unclear.

“For us, it’s still something that’s a way into the future,” Jackson said.

The LCMCD said all of their pilots are licensed and ready for when that day comes.

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