Fitostinger, by Fitostinger

A PEST CONTROL DRONE: the best solution to eradicate Pine Processionary Caterpillars

The Pine Processionary Caterpillars (PPC) is a species of defoliator Lepidoptera that abounds in pine forests of Southern Europe, although climate change is favoring its expansion to all European countries, including central ones. The caterpillars are covered with urticating hairs that detach and float in the air, so they can cause irritation in the ears, nose, and throat in humans, as well as intense allergic reactions that in the most severe cases can lead to death. Domestic animals are also great victims of the effects of the processionary, since, if it comes into contact with the animal’s tongue, it can produce necrosis. But the most affected are the pines and the area where they are. The severe defoliation produces the weakening of all its structure and the younger pine trees can die. This great defoliation, in situations that align with a possible drought, can turn the area into a zone of serious risk of fire, due to the pronounced dryness of the trees and the land; thus, as a result of hypothetical fires, the deforestation of large areas can be produced.

Our client, the company FitoStinger S.L., has combined recent advances in artificial intelligence and unmanned aircraft technology to create an innovative solution for the pest control industry, and specifically for the eradication of the Pine Processionary Caterpillars.

The innovative method of FitoStinger uses automatic drones equipped with artificial vision and a specially designed and patented lance that allows the pesticide to be injected directly into the nest without affecting the surrounding area. The FitoStinger method is fast, effective and respectful of the environment, unlike current methods that spray the entire tree with pesticides, which is detrimental to other species that live on the tree and to humans in the area.

In order to move forward with their project, Fitostinger submitted their proposal to the call of May 2019 of the SME Instrument Phase 1 and we are very happy to announce that they have obtained the funding they requested.

From Aristos we want to congratulate FitoStinger for this success and we are very pleased to have been part of this new project.

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