California Will Get Swamped by Millions of Mosquito-Killing … Mosquitoes


by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:
Researchers at the Google-linked science company Verily are in the process of releasing 20 million sterile mosquitoes into the Fresno County, California, area in an attempt to actually stop the disease-carrying menaces from breeding. [1]

The effort is dubbed the “Debug Fresno” project, the goal of which is to greatly reduce the number of invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the area. The Zika-carrying insects first arrived in California’s Central Valley in 2013. The mosquitoes also have the ability to spread dengue fever and chikungunya viruses. Officials say the bugs adapted rapidly to the area’s residential neighborhoods. [2]

Steve Mulligan, district manager for the region’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD), explained:

“It’s a terrible nuisance, a terrible biting nuisance. It’s changed the way people can enjoy their backyard and it’s a threat for disease transmission. So we’re looking for new ways to eliminate it.”

The Bloodline Stops There

The tens of millions of mosquitoes are being infected with Wolbachia bacteria and raised inside a laboratory. Wolbachia makes male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sterile. Then, once the insects have matured, they will be released to mate with credulous female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Read: Wolbachia Mosquitoes Released in Australian Towns

The altered males don’t bite, but, obviously, you wouldn’t know that as you swat at them at your family barbecue.

If the naive females lay eggs, it won’t matter; they will never hatch.

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