Medfly control methods were ready for pest’s influx | Science News


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50 Years Ago

Medfly control methods were ready for pest’s influx

Excerpt from the May 8, 1965 issue of Science News Letter

10:40am, April 30, 2015
Mediterranean fruit fly

SHOO FLY  Mediterranean fruit flies are destructive insect pests. Multiple methods, including releasing sterilized males, have been used to control them and protect fruit crops.

U.S. ready for fruit fly — A reception committee is always ready to greet the dreaded Mediterranean fruit fly if it should stray across the U.S. border from Central America. The fly, probably the world’s most destructive fruit pest, does not now infest the United States.… A program of sterilization [of another species of fruit fly] is now underway.… Billions of insects are reared, sterilized and released. Sterile males then compete with wild ones in the breeding grounds, and since their matings produce no offspring, the species dies out. — Science News Letter,  May 8, 1965.


Sterilization was used for decades to combat the screwworm before Mexico and Guatemala staged their first Mediterranean fruit fly

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