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Is this the way to control insect pests?

Posted by arktrees 6b NW Arkansas (My Page) on
Fri, Sep 20, 13 at 11:29

Ran across this article, and the thought immediately occurred to me that this could be the way to gain the true elimination of introduced insect pest. Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorn Beetle, Japanese Beetle etc.

Basically you introduce males, that carry a gene that cause females to die in the larval stage. Males survive to go on and compete to mate with a dwindling population of females. Thereby reducing the population as a whole. This has the added benefit of being species specific. And it requires ZERO pesticide use. Interesting concept to say the least.


Here is a link that might be useful: Possible New Pest Control Weapon

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this the way to control insect pests?

Now that is an interesting read. In some ways I really welcome the technology but we have to be careful with it.

Sounds like this is going on already with the other species with no ill effects yet but for example, what about when sterile EAB males make it back to Asia and cause problems with the natural population there?

Still it is another tool and one we can not ignore.

RE: Is this the way to control insect pests?

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 18:24

That is interesting. Wonder if you'd get hybrids of some sort with cross breeding.

RE: Is this the way to control insect pests?

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 8:40

Back in the 60's, they irradiated male tetsie flies, sterilizing them (but not killing them) & releasing hordes of 'em into tetsie-fly-infested areas in Africa.

RE: Is this the way to control insect pests?

It's a new twist on an older technology.
Mass-release of x-irradiated sterile male screwworm flies to mate with females, producing non-viable eggs, was used to eradicate the screwworm from most of the USA by the 1960s, and all the way down to the Panama Canal zone by the mid 1980s.

Here is a link that might be useful: Screwworm eradication

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