Tiger mosquito: discovered an innovative method to permanently eliminate it

The days of the tiger mosquito are numbered: an innovative combined method has been discovered in China to eliminate it permanently.

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

We all know as much as the tiger mosquitoes they are potentially dangerous, but in countries like China they are even more dangerous because they often transmit lethal diseases such as yellow fever, encephalitis, Zika virus. Well, since this is not a small problem, some researchers have engaged in the search for a definitive solution capable of eliminating them and apparently they have found it.

Leading the study was Professor Zhiyong Xi, entomologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, with the support of numerous researchers, who applying an innovative combined technique able to sterilize insects, they managed to eliminate all tiger mosquitoes from the Shazai and Dadaosha islands in southern China.

But how did they do it? Through a combined method that prevents males and females from reproducing. In the islands mentioned, the researchers placed a mosquito breeding facility: many male specimens had been artificially sterilized with three infections from different species of parasite Wolbachia pipientis, a bacterium that hinders not only the reproduction of insects but also the transmission of some diseases. while the females had been sterilized by gamma radiation.

The sterilized mosquitoes, both male and female treated with the two different methods mentioned, were then released into the environment, free to mate with non-sterilized insects. The new generations born from the mating were found to be infertile, and by repeating the same experiment for two consecutive years, the entire population of tiger mosquitoes has practically gone extinct. Suffice it to say that the average number of adult wild females decreased by 83% in 2016 and by 94% in 2017.

Un therefore a much more effective method than current strategies control of the tiger mosquito, such as spraying pesticides, to which these insects soon develop resistance, and removing water containers where the insects lay their eggs. The only problem, which in reality should not be underestimated at all, concerns the ecological impact of an elimination of this magnitude because mosquito larvae are the main food of many birds and are also important for feeding fish.

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Laura Rose


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