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Key-Messages-Mosquitoes-SIT


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  1. As part of area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM), the sterile insect technique (SIT) aims to suppress mosquito populations and thereby potentially stop diseases from spreading in your communit

  2. There is a need for a small pilot project to demonstrate that the release of sterile male mosquitoes can reduce the mosquito population in your area

  3. Only sterile male mosquitoes will be released in the programme

  4. Male mosquitoes do not need bloodmeals and physically cannot bite

  5. Male mosquitoes cannot transmit diseases because they do not bite

  6. Male mosquitoes are sterilized using irradiation (gamma or X-rays) that damages their sperm cells, but that does not make them radioactive.

  7. Released sterile male mosquitoes are not transgenic, and are not radioactive

  8. The SIT using irradiated insects to manage pest insect populations is a strategy that has been used successfully for decades across the globe

  9. The same technique of irradiation for sterilization can be applied for use against disease transmitting mosquitoes

  10. The use of irradiation is a common practice for sterilizing medical equipment and food commodities, and for medical treatment of people (e.g. X-ray of your chest, radiotherapy to treat cancer)

  11. Releases of sterilized male insects in programmes against other insect pests did not result in adverse impacts on the environment, on livestock, or humans.

  12. The SIT is species specific and will only affect the species of mosquito that is released. There are no non-target impacts with SIT.

  13. The SIT is very friendly to the environment, significantly reduces the use of insecticides, and will not further drive the issue of insecticide resistance.


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                               Insect Pest Control Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Programme