Breakthrough technique to eradicate mosquitoes

Uses 2 population control methods — radiation and bacteria
A breakthrough technique harnessing two methods to target disease-carrying mosquitoes was able to effectively eradicate buzzing biters in two test sites in China, according to research published on Thursday. The mosquitoes targeted are a type that is particularly difficult to control called Aedes albopictus — more popularly known as the Asian tiger mosquito — which are a major vector for diseases including Zika and dengue. The study “demonstrates the potential of a potent new tool”, wrote Peter Armbruster, a Professor at Georgetown University’s department of biology, in a review of the work. Researchers harnessed two population control methods: the use of radiation — which effectively sterilises mosquitoes — and a strain of bacteria called Wolbachia that leaves mosquito eggs dead on arrival. They conducted a two-year trial at two sites on river islands in Guangzhou. The results were “remarkable”, wrote Prof. Armbruster. The number of hatched mosquitoes eggs plunged by 94%, with not a single viable egg recorded for up to 13 weeks in some cases. And the average number of female mosquitoes — which transmit disease to humans when they bite — caught by traps fell by 83 to 94%.
In some cases, none were detected at all for up to six weeks.

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