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WSJ: Navy Lab Attacks Bugs with Weapons

As insecticide use declines, robots and gadgets take on the war against bugs, especially mozzies!

WSJ:  By CAMERON MCWHIRTER         Updated Nov. 12, 2013 12:12 a.m. ET

In Florida, Navy Lab Plans Attacks on Creepy Invaders

Center Tests Weapons to Battle Bugs; Mosquito Vacuum, Tick-Killing Robot

The 29-year-old scientist, who heads evaluation and testing, points the “InsectaZooka” in the air, turns on its vacuum, and waves it around, mimicking how a Marine could use it to suck mosquitoes out of a tent.

“This’ll kill ’em,” she shouts over the whining motor.

Researchers at this center once focused on techniques for spraying pesticides in tents and on ships. But with threats to the Navy on the rise from bugs, and pesticide use on the decline over environmental and cost concerns, Lt. Wright and her staff are looking at InsectaZookas, tick-killing robots and other devices to zap pests. And civilian inventors are crawling out of the woodwork to pitch their antibug approaches to the center, hoping a bite from the military will boost sales.

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