Ascension Parish to purchase drone to fight mosquitoes

Ascension Parish to purchase drone to fight mosquitoes

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Ascension Parish is about to get a new weapon in its battle against mosquitoes.

A high-tech gadget that has been known to take stunning pictures from the sky is about to take flight in Ascension Parish. Only this drone's mission is to protect the public from mosquitoes.

Ascension Parish Mosquito Control director, David Matassa, met with a company out of Minnesota recently for a test flight over the Lamar Dixon Expo Center.

"It's a concrete jungle, but we have mosquitoes because we have 121 storm drains full of water. The drone, within 45 minutes, can spray every culvert in that area and eliminate any problem of adult mosquitoes coming for water," said Matassa.

Right now, the parish deploys workers with squirt bottles and trucks to manually spray ditches and uses planes for areas with high grass, but Matassa says the drone can hold up to 20 lbs of pesticide and saturate a quarter mile area three times faster.

"Mosquitoes must have water to breed and this drone can do a great job larvaciding these areas that are holding water," said Matassa.

Matassa says the drone would not replace spray trucks and other personal services the parish offers, it would simply be another weapon in its fight against mosquitoes.

"It's technology that's going forward at the cutting edge and that's the direction we want to go in in Ascension Parish," said Matassa.

The parish is working on getting the proper license to fly a drone. They plan to name it AP-1. Ascension Parish would be the first parish in the state to use a drone to spray for mosquitoes.

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