Trichogramma Dropping

Combatting the European corn borer ecologically using ichneumon fly larvae

Project theme


To combat the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis), a maize pest common in Europe, in a way that is ecologically benign, larvae of the ichneumon fly (trichogramma) were spread onto a maize field by drone. The larvae gather in balls of maize starch, which dissolve due to their moistness and allow the creatures to hatch. The ichneumon flies feed on the pests and leave the field once the pests are removed. This method is not only ecologically sustainable, since no pesticides are required, but it also results in sustainable outcomes.

The challenge


While this procedure has been tested and trusted, the distribution of the larvae was previously only possible by hand. This method is highly time-consuming and is particularly challenging with dense stands of tall maize plants.


To enable the larvae to be distributed uniformly and fully automatically, an unmanned flight solution was required to deliver the larva balls. At the same time, the handling of the system was to be as simple as possible and the process as efficient as possible.

The solution


HEIGHT TECH INDIVIDUAL developed a special release mechanism based on the HT-8 for issuing the larva balls simply and uniformly. By using waypoint navigation, a uniform distribution and the maximum possible automation can be achieved. The result is a system solution adapted individually to the specific problem.