Sometimes, less is more. Case in point: the mass-rearing program that produces millions of sterile Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) for managing wild populations. Scientists refining the effort find that a lower ratio of males to females in mating cages leads to higher fecundity and fertility in the females—and higher cost-effectiveness for the operation.
Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.
Ever wondered how one might feed 20 million fly larvae every week? Get a glimpse into the work of entomologists who fine-tune the diet for mass-reared screwworm flies at the Panama – United States Commission for the Eradication and Prevention of Screwworm.
The return of the screwworm to Florida in 2016 was a surprise, but entomologists with the USDA and local, state, and international partners were prepared to respond. A new, in-depth report in the Journal of Medical Entomology shares a detailed account of their work re-eradicating the pest via the sterile insect technique—plus new lessons learned along the way.