Thousands of sterilized mosquitoes released throughout Inland Empire

All the late-season rain falling on Southern California has created the possibility of a bad mosquito season this year. However, vector control specialists have found a way to reduce the population, even if it may seem counterproductive.

West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control is the first district in California to release young, sterilized male mosquitoes into the wild. The technique has been so successful that the organization is planning additional outings in the Inland Empire.

“It seems like good science to me,” said Upland resident Patrick Mallen.

Mallen lives in one of the towns that received the first shipment of sterilized mosquitoes. He expressed enthusiasm for this new approach to controlling annoying creatures.

“Spraying caustic chemicals and pesticides will not be enough,” he said. “Because they just build up an immunity to it. They don’t have offspring, so you don’t have to worry about getting rid of them.”

The method is touted as an environmentally friendly way to reduce mosquitoes and prevent the spread of disease. Although this may seem counterproductive, it interrupts the reproductive cycle of the species.

“Female mosquitoes will only mate once in their life, so any sperm they receive from sterilized males will sterilize the eggs and they will not hatch,” said ecologist Ale Macias.

Noting the success of the program, other vector control districts in Los Angeles and Orange counties are launching similar pilot programs. They plan to release sterilized mosquitoes in Tujunga-Sunland and Mission Viejo.

Environmentalists say that although there will be more mosquitoes at first, the males will not bite.

News Source :
Gn Health

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