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New Ways to Sterilize Mosquitoes May Help Fight Deadly Diseases

Yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) can spread dangerous diseases to humans, including Zika fever, dengue fever, and yellow fever. To protect people, researchers have studied ways to reduce the mosquito population. Pesticides have helped, but they can also have negative environmental impacts.

Researchers have recently explored sterilizing male mosquitoes. The sterile males mate with females, which then lay infertile eggs. While effective, the techniques used to sterilize the mosquitoes have been complex and expensive, making them difficult to employ widely. ARS researchers at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, collaborated with scientists from the University of Florida to develop a simpler method. They are combining radiation and mosquito-rearing methods that they believe could be widely replicated and used in place of pesticides.

Related Information

Research Project: Integrated Pest Management of Mosquitoes and Biting Flies

External Video

Mosquitoes: Containing the Spread of Pathogens Through Sterilization

Mosquitoes: Containing the Spread of Pathogens Through Sterilization

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