Over the last few years, drones have grown in popularity, and their uses have branched out from just sheer amusement. As companies have gotten better at building them, their prices have come down and quality has improved. This means all sorts of industries can now use drone technology to make their work a little more efficient.
We in the green pest control industry have seen the benefits of using drone technology in our daily work as well. Thanks to drones, our teams are able to see more of the homes we care for, and we can reach areas that we otherwise couldn’t.
Though drone technology has improved, there are still a lot of misconceptions about what drones are mostly used for. Many people still think of them as just spy cameras. While it’s true that drones can be used to record, that can be a very useful skill — especially when it comes to green pest control.
At Natran, we’re always on the lookout for the latest and most innovation technology, and now we’re starting to use drones in our approach to green pest control. Here’s what you need to know about drone uses and how they can be applied to green pest control.
Modern drone uses
Perhaps the most common and best-known use of the drone is as an aerial camera. In fact, drones have changed the way Hollywood directors can approach filmmaking, allowing for better shots and angles that give a fresh look to the film.
According to Time, drones were used successfully in the movies Skyfall, The Wolf of Wall Street and Jurassic World. Skyfall, the 2012 highly acclaimed James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, kept viewers on the edge of their seats with its high-intensity action sequences. The opening motorcycle chase scene was filmed using drones. In The Wolf of Wall Street, drones hovered above the party scenes, giving moviegoers a sort of birds-eye view almost as if they were peaking in on the party below. With Jurassic World, drones were used creatively to mimic the look of pterosaurs swooping down on a panicked crowd.
The film industry, of course, is just one benefiting from drone usage. Law enforcement agencies have also used drones. Local police departments, border security guards and private security guards have all used them for surveillance, and some police departments have even used them in search-and-rescue missions.
Drones can be sent to fly out over lakes, trees, deserts, cliffs and mountains, so when someone goes missing, search-and-rescue teams can cover more ground with drones. Not only can they save time in moments where every second counts, but they can also reduce the risk of the people on the search team. Rather than sending someone to climb a steep cliff to look for a lost hiker, a drone can fly to the top with a camera. Drones can capture aerial footage which can be then used to locate lost hikers. Search-and-rescue teams can look for disturbances in the landscape or other signs that someone may be nearby. If a hiker has fallen and needs medical attention, search-and-rescue teams can locate the person much faster and might even save a life.
More and more consumers may be seeing drones used in their everyday life — if Amazon has its way. The company has been pioneering drone technology for some time and has been looking for ways for drones to deliver packages. At the most recent Amazon Re: MARS conference in Las Vegas in June, consumer worldwide CEO Jeff Wilke unveiled the latest look at the company’s drones and how Amazon plans to make them as safe as possible.
Wilke told the crowd listening that its newest drones, which will eventually be used as part of Prime memberships, can fly up to 15 miles to deliver packages under five pounds in 30 minutes. That may not sound like such a big deal, but he noted that 75 to 90 percent of Amazon purchases are under that weight limit. As many people use their Prime memberships to order easy household essentials such as light bulbs, dishwasher soap and toilet paper, this could be a huge gamechanger.
How other industries use drones to cut back on pesticides
You know that Natran only uses botanical-based chemicals to fight pests and treat homes, but just because green pest control is our philosophy doesn’t mean that everyone shares it. One of the biggest users of pesticides is the agriculture industry, which is problematic for a number of different reasons.
Countless studies and research articles have shown us the harm that pesticides can have on our health and how food exposed to pesticides can make us sick. Now drone company UAV-IQ is applying biocontrol to agriculture. Rather than dumping chemical pesticides on plants, UAV-IQ’s drones drop insects — the right types of insects that want to eat the pests swarming the crops. The result is a healthier yield and business for everyone.
Drones also solve other problems in the agriculture industry. Labor costs have been growing for many farms, and traditional pesticide application is a lengthy process usually done by hand by several people. That’s not the case with drones. With just one person operating it, the drone can cover more ground at a faster rate, and the work can be done by just one or two people. Skill is still needed to operate the drone and read the data it collects, but now the person doing the labor won’t be in a field under the hot sun.
Drones can also collect data and help farmers spot problems with their fields. If you’ve ever worked on a puzzle at home before, then you know how beneficial it can be to pull back and look at the complete picture from up above. Farmers can do the same thing with drones. They can get a good overview of their fields and see problems before they ruin crops.
How drones help green pest control
In the same way that other industries are embracing drones, those of us here at Natran have been looking for ways to make our work a little more efficient, innovative and green. With drones, we’ve managed to reach all three goals.
For those of us in green pest control, drones are best used for roof inspections. Now roofs are usually not the place you first think of when talking about infestations, but take it from the experts: Roof infestations are fairly common. If you have a hole somewhere along your roof, you get bet that pests will find their way in. Insects like ants, termites and even bees and hornets will find those tiny holes and get into your attic where they can build nests for the winter. Even live animals such as raccoons and roof rats can get into an attic through a small hole. Once these pests get into your home, it can be tough to get them back out again.
Inspecting roof lines has always been a challenge for green pest control. For one thing, there’s only so much you can see by climbing a ladder. Experts have a limited view, and they constantly have to move the ladder around to get better angles, which can be very time consuming. Climbing and standing on a ladder itself can also be dangerous. Not all homes have flat terrain around their homes, which can make finding a good spot to plant a ladder difficult. Tall homes also mean tall ladders, and that can pose a significant danger for a green pest control expert who has to climb it. One fall from a ladder can result in broken bones and high medical bills.
We value our employees and want to keep them safe, and drones can help with this. Rather than climb a ladder, our experts can fly drones around the roof of a home and look for weak points where pests may be entering the home. Cameras on drones can zero in on potential points of entry and provide an aerial look at the roof. If the point of entry happens to be a broken or loose shingle near the top of the roof — a place where our experts usually can’t reach — a drone will spot it on camera.
Drones also save our experts time. They don’t have to move the ladder all around the perimeter of the home to look for problems, which can be very time consuming when you consider they have to steady the ladder, climb it, inspect, then climb down and move it all over again. With drones, our experts can do the inspection much faster. They still might have to climb a ladder, but with a drone, they can usually pinpoint the problem area, which means our experts only climb their ladders once or twice.
Why green pest control works for everyone
When homeowners use green pest control when confronted with an infestation, they’re making a bigger impact beyond their own homes. Sure, their families will be safer and healthier when botanical-based products are used, but so will others living nearby. Using heavy chemicals can harm others if the chemicals spray onto their property. If you have guests over, they may get sick from the chemicals used as well. When you choose to use botanical-based products, you keep everyone around you healthier.
Your choice also impacts the environment. Some pesticides used outside can harm or even kill plants around the outside of your home. If it rains, the pesticides may wash off your home and run into your flower beds, killing other plants nearby. Any animals who drink the water — pets or other outdoor creatures — could also get sick and possibly die. Pesticides can also get into the water supply when it rains, and although water filtration systems will usually take these pesticides out, it would be best for everyone if they were never in the water to begin with.
So when all is said and done, the best thing you can do when you’ve got an infestation is to use a green pest control like Natran. We’re always here to help.
Tell us: Do you use drones around your home? Share with us all the cool ways you’re using drones, whether for work or as a hobby, around your home and let us know how our green pest control can better serve you.