Drones target fruit tree pests in Hawaiʻi

The coconut rhinoceros beetle is a major invasive pest that feeds on coconut palms, betelnut, Pandanus palms, banana, pineapple and sugarcane. In Hawaiʻi, with no natural enemies to this beetle, the damage to crops can be significant.

But not if University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources Professor Dan Jenkins of the molecular biosciences and bioengineering department and his PhD student Mohsen Paryavi can help it. Armed with a drone that looks like something borrowed from a Transformers movie set, the duo coordinated with Mike Melzer of the Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences and his CRB Response team to combat the CRB.

Jenkins recently spent three days at the Hawaiʻi Country Club on Oʻahu, using the drone to shoot targeted aerial applications of an insecticide called Demon Max (cypermethrin) atop 53 coconut trees that showed signs of infestation.

Source: hawaii.edu

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