CHARACTERIZATION AND EFFICACY OF VECTOBAC ® WDG APPLICATIONS TARGETING CONTAINER-INHABITING MOSQUITOES USING AN UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE
Application of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti)-based liquid larvicide for the control of container inhabiting mosquito species, such as Aedes aegypti, is typically performed through the use of portable sprayers, truck-mounted mist systems, or manned fixed and rotary-wing aircraft. Recently, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have provided a new avenue for control material applications. Here we report the characterization and efficacy of Wide Area Larvicide Sprays (WALS™) applications of Vectobac® WDG using UAV technology. Collier Mosquito Control District’s PrecisionVision 13 UAV was outfitted with the PrecisionVision Liquid Application System using four flat-fan TeeJet nozzles capable of producing fine/extra fine droplets for WALS applications of Vectobac WDG at a rate of 0.5 lb/A. Droplet characterization and mortality assays indicated that we achieved nearly 100% efficacy within 30-40 ft swaths. Furthermore, semi-field tests indicated delivery of the control material with six to seven adjacent swaths of 30 ft to open bioassay containers at the desired application rate within a 1 A treatment block, which was supported by reduction of natural populations of container inhabiting mosquitoes in the treatment area.