John Mills, owner of Innovative Detection Concepts, and trainer Lourdes Edlin of Action Pack Performing Dogs, use their dogs Cobra, front, and Vinnie to sniff out the laurel wilt fungus and locate infected avocado trees. The dogs were being trained at the University of Florida Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead.
Category Archives: IDC
Ambrosia beetles are spreading laurel wilt, a fungal virus, which is responsible for killing more than 12,000 commercial avocado trees in South Florida since 2012.
Miami Herald, Pedro Portal / firstname.lastname@example.org, Jul 29, 2016
Florida’s avocado groves are under attack
Fox News, July 2, 2015
How drones are saving Florida’s avocado trees
MSNBC The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart, May 7, 2015
Drones, dogs used to protect avocado from disease
CBS This Morning, May 5, 2015
Drones and dogs deployed in battle to save the guacamole
Associated Press, April 28, 2015
The national and international press that the Disease, Drones and Dogs has brought to iDC has resulted inquiries to use the systems for other crop pests in nurseries as well as detection of larger invasive pest such as pythons and invasive lizards in the everglades.
The Detector dogs will be certified by FIU Forensics Institute, Detector Dog certifications testing group used to validate the accuracy of the detector dog and handler team to locate the presence of the Laurel wilt fungus.
This method of early detection gives the farmer at least 3 weeks faster notice over any other current practice that another outbreak is pending. The dogs are routinely detecting the fungus in trees 2-3 weeks before the wilt can be detected by any other method. But the spreading of the chipped infected wood will prevent that advantage in time, cost in removal/production and cost of the containment.