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Japan now uses drones that destroy killer wasps and nests

A company in Japan is using drone for exterminating wasps and their nests as this manual task is dangerous (Pic. Courtesy 24htech.asia)

Science and technology play an important role in making tasks and chores of life easier and less dangerous. An example of this is the successful drone testing  by a company in Japan for exterminating wasps. These insects have powerful sting and removing their nests was always considered perilous.

Japan reports the death of about 10 to 20 people annually during extermination of wasps in which manual labour is used. Now according to an article in mainichi.jp drones will be used thereby increasing the safety levels of this job.

Sometime in November last year, a wasp nest which was nearly 35 centimetres in diameter was found hanging from the eaves of warehouse which was two-storied. The structure was located in Yabu city in the northern part of Hyogo Prefecture. This nest was approached by a remotely-controlled 80-centimetre-wide drone.

This drone with the function of vacuum, sucked these flying insects and also their nest with the help of a tube whose tip was wide like that of a trumpet.  Taking two hours, including the manual procedures, the nest was removed, along with elimination of more than 100 wasps, including one thought to be queen.

The demonstration of this drone is being done by Duskin Co. which is based in Suita, Osaka Prefecture and is engaged in the rental and sale of cleaning products and the operation of Mister Donut. The firm is using the support system that is being made available by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and Kobe-based New Industry Research Organization.

As Duskin has been offering pest control services for a long time, there have been handling the work of extermination of wasps and their nests. On several occasions, the nests were built at high places and also there had been accidents in which the workers were stung and injured. Therefore, the firm had been refusing this work for the nests which were placed very high, and for this very reason they decided to use drones from 2020 onwards.

Collaborating with Gunma Prefecture-based sales company Ishikawa Energy Research Co., Duskin worked for creating a special drone for the work of removing wasps and their nests.

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While removing the insect manually involved use of chemicals which had an impact on the environment, here the method of sucking which was used for cockroaches was used to destroy the wasps and their abode.

Talking to the media about this machine, Yusuke Saito, who is in charge of drone development at Duskin, said: "When wasps recognize an enemy, they secrete an alarm pheromone and attack in groups. By attaching pheromones to the drone, they will gather at the machine and can be exterminated efficiently."

Highlighting the important aspects of drone, the Sales Manager of Ishikawa Energy Research, Kazuki Hayashi, said: "Unlike drones for spraying pesticides, ones (for extermination) are used for precision work, so we achieved stable flight with our unique programming."

At present work is going on the second model to adjust the tube that sucks in wasps.

The drone was demonstrated in September and November in Hyogo.

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According to Saito, "In addition to the support system, there were many locations in Hyogo Prefecture that needed wasp extermination."

Hyogo Prefecture as per the Japan Pest Control Association in Tokyo, had the highest number of consultations for wasp extermination between 2016 and 2020.

The firm Duskin wants to use drones to clean up wasps on a nationwide basis. Commenting on this Saito said: “The number of foreign species of wasps, which nest in higher places, is spreading in Japan. The use of drones will become more important in the future."