Experts study drones to battle insects posing crop and health threats

Drones are increasingly flying faster, farther, and for longer periods of time while performing a broader array of tasks. Now they are poised to take on a tiny problem that often leads to enormous damage: plant-destroying inspects.

Drones central to per-case pest management solution

Use of drones in battling those pests has thus far been limited to their cheaper, more efficient performance in spraying crops with insecticides. But now, new studies by agricultural researchers have come up with other ways craft can be deployed against bugs that threaten fields, ecosystems, and public health. The studies are contained in the Special Collection: Drones to Improve Pest Insect Management produced by Journal of Economic Entomology.

The cases range from foundational perspectives – like analyzing and perfecting drone capacities to detect pests or administer deterrent substances – to precise application scenarios evaluating the potentials and challenges of craft in managing…