Through a grant from the County of Hawaii Department of Research and Development and in partnership with the Hawaii Ant Lab, PISCES developed an integrated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) outfitted with a Little Fire Ant (LFA) bait dispersion payload.

LFA populations in Hawaii are growing rapidly. In addition to their painful sting, LFAs negatively affect the local nursery, agriculture, ranching and tourism industries. Current control methods primarily focus on ground nesting LFAs and largely neglect arboreal populations residing in tree canopies.

The project’s focus was to address this issue by developing an effective UAV payload system to mitigate arboreal LFAs. The system was designed to be easily replicated and shared for wider use by interested parties. PISCES purchased a DJI-1000S UAV octocopter to design and test the system, The project was jointly completed by PISCES staff members and interns.