Sterile mosquitoes deployed by drone to stop spread of insect-borne illnesses

Sterile male mosquitos will be deployed by drone to help stop the spread of insect-born illnesses such as malaria. As the male mosquitos will not produce any offspring, this proof of concept experiment if successful could save thousands of lives around the world. #dronesforgood

Sterile male mosquitoes to be deployed by drone

A multi-institutional research team has been working on a proof of concept experiment that if successful could help save thousands of lives by reducing mosquito populations.

Around the world, mosquitoes are a major public health hazard as they spread infections like malaria to millions of people resulting in countless deaths and health crises.

In the past, we've seen agricultural drones used to spray insecticides to help reduce the mosquito populations. However, in this case, drones will be used to deploy sterile mosquitoes into the wild where they will compete with other mosquito males for food and mates but the sterile male mosquitos obviously will not produce any offspring.

Sterile Mosquitoes Deployed By Drone To Stop Spread Of Insect-Borne Illnesses 1

The biggest challenge with releasing sterile male mosquitos into the wild has been that it's very labor-intensive. Traditionally researchers traveled to mosquito-infested areas and release the sterile male mosquitoes by hand. To deploy the mosquitoes by drone instead, represents a huge time-saving.

It is a project that has been undertaken by a multi-institutional team consisting of French, Swiss, British, Brazilian, Senegalese, and other researchers. Deploying the mosquitos by drone has proven to be the most effective and practical way, yet.

Sterile Mosquitoes Deployed By Drone To Stop Spread Of Insect-Borne Illnesses

The team of researchers grows the mosquitoes in bulk and then they are sterilized by radiation. The mosquitoes are packed at low temperatures in specially designed cartridges that are kept refrigerated until they can be deployed by drone over the target area. As the drone flies at a set altitude, it will steadily release thousands of sterile male mosquitoes. The drone operations can be executed in various directions from a single town, allowing the researchers to cover a larger area in a shorter time frame.

The team says that air-dropping mosquitoes by drone has proven to be 50% more effective than traditional manual methods without even getting into the reductions in time and labor, according to an article in TechCrunch.

As millions of people are affected by insect born illnesses the ability to control mosquito populations by deploying infertile male mosquitoes by drone could lead to improved general health for millions of people.

For more information see the original work published on Science Robotics.

Droneu Marketing Banner Ad 1

Stay in touch!

If you'd like to stay up to date with all the latest drone news, scoops, rumors, and reviews, then follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or…

Subscribe to our Daily Drone News email.*


Submit tips If you have information or tips that you would like to share with us, feel free to submit them hereSupport You can support by using these links when you make your next drone purchase: Adorama, Amazon, B&H, BestBuy, eBay, DJI, Parrot, and Yuneec. We make a small commission when you do so at no additional expense to you. Thank you for helping DroneXL grow! FTC: uses affiliate links that generate income.

* We do not sell, share, rent out or spam your email, ever. Our email goes out on weekdays around 5:30 p.m.

Photo: TechCrunch and Bouyer at al.

Discover more from DroneXL

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


Proposed legislation threatens your ability to use drones for fun, work, and safety. The Drone Advocacy Alliance is fighting to ensure your voice is heard in these critical policy discussions.Join us and tell your elected officials to protect your right to fly.

Drone Advocacy Alliance
Follow us on Google News!

Get your Part 107 Certificate

Pass the test and take to the skies with the Pilot Institute. We have helped thousands of people become airplane and commercial drone pilots. Our courses are designed by industry experts to help you pass FAA tests and achieve your dreams.

pilot institute dronexl

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. The content, images, and intellectual property on this website are protected by copyright law. Reproduction or distribution of any material without prior written permission from is strictly prohibited. For permissions and inquiries, please contact us first.

FTC: is an Amazon Associate and uses affiliate links that can generate income from qualifying purchases. We do not sell, share, rent out, or spam your email.

Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

Articles: 3657

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

en_USEnglish (United States)