Rejoice, America! The Federal Government Has Built You a Moth Drone

Planes have long been used to drop pesticides and herbicides quickly and evenly over cropland, but the newest drone to drift quietly over us has something a little different waiting in its cargo-hold: thousands and thousands of sterilized moths.

The pink bollwarm is a cotton pest that doesn’t show up often, but hits hard when it does. The newest solution the USDA is testing out? A series of remote agricultural control drones that can be speedily dispatched to any effected fields with the quickness.

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But those moths aren’t pink bollworm predators—far from it. They are also pink bollworms who have been sterilized. This sudden addition keeps many new pink bollworms from appearing and—with a lifecycle that is just about two weeks—could stop an infestation fairly quick.

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