Insects being a threat to humans, livestock and to crop plants
Mosquitoes are known to carry and infect humans with some of the most important global diseases, such as, malaria and west Nile virus. Other insects transmit diseases to livestock and crop plants. With these vector threats, we worry about the disease, not the insect per se, and, in development of effective disease management programs, it is very important to have technologies and methods to differentiate between insect individuals of the same species with/without the disease.
Spectral Analytix Inc uses high-resolution spectral data from body reflectance profiles of individual insects to determine whether they carry diseases or not. This information can be used by individual farmers to determine when and where insect management should be implemented. It can also b used by organizations, agencies, and researchers either alone or in combination with weather data, land cover data etc to develop risk models and to coordinate region-wide management practices.
Published example from 2019: Proximal remote sensing to differentiate nonviruliferous and viruliferous insect vectors – proof of concept and importance of input data robustness
Programs to control insect vectors are often expensive, require coordination of complex logistics, and they can have unintended negative effects on the environment. So they should only be implemented WHEN and WHERE they are needed. To determine WHEN and WHERE, it is important to have reliable data describing insect population changes over time and space and also about the percentage of insects carrying the disease.