IN what has been hailed as a WA first, a pilotless helicopter drone is being used to treat Lake Goollelal for midges.
The Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, working with the cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo, are treating the lake in Yellagonga Regional Park today and tomorrow using the drone rather than a helicopter.
This makes it more precise, effective and cost efficient.
According to the City of Wanneroo, midge larvae numbers late last year were the lowest in seven years.
However, monitoring in recent weeks detected an increase in larvae levels, with specific areas of the lake requiring treatment.
Kingsley MLA Jessica Stojkovski said she had also recently received “many calls and emails about the large number of midges affecting local residents”.
“Following testing and midge numbers reaching pre-determined thresholds, the decision was made to treat the lake,” Ms Stojkovski said.
“I know that for some this action will be seen as long overdue and for others it may be premature but ultimately I support the treatment to maintain the amenity of the residents who are affected.
“I understand this is a short-term treatment and that we as a community need to do more to protect and improve the water quality of our fabulous wetlands.”
The active ingredient in the treatment is S-Methoprene, which prevents the larvae from developing into adult midge.
It is not known to be harmful to humans and will not produce dust as it is delivered in pellet form.