If you'll be buying one of the million or so drones that people will buy this holiday season, you'll probably use it the way almost everyone else will. For fun.
Yet, while you're having fun, many companies are starting to use drones for commercial purposes, like fighting fires, selling real estate, filming movies and many other purposes. But you probably never thought you'd be hearing about teenagers using drones to help dogs sniff out beetles.
Yet, that's just what's happening in Florida, where its $13 million avocado industry is under attack by the ambrosia beetle. The rice-sized invasive species from Indonesia cuts a hole in avocado trees. Then, it inserts the Raffaelea lauricola fungus, which it farms for food.
The tree kills itself in an attempt to fend off the fungus. It shuts down all its internal systems to kill the fungus, but ends up dying itself.
More than 90% of infected trees die within six weeks. Since 2002, about 500 million trees across the Southeast have been killed by the beetle.