Saturday, July 6, 2013


It's mosquito weather in the Deep South. Way back when, that was a cause of malaria and all sorts of other nasties. These days, it's just an occasional West Nile infection. Nonetheless, we need some control here. When I was growing up, they had trucks that drove around spraying poison to kill the mosquitoes. It worked well--except for that whole DDT destroying everything problem. 
I read of a potential solution to this problem if only someone would implement it. It's pretty cool if you think about it.
First, mosquitoes are bred in captivity.  The females are destroyed--they bite. The males are sterilized--whoa that's a lot of tiny vasectomies! But there's a better way. They can be treated with x-rays until they can't reproduce, kind of like radiation therapy for cancer. Then the males are released into the environment. They don't bite.
The farm-raised mosquitoes breed with the wild females and produce--nothing. No larvae. No next generation, and so the mosquito population decreases.
Meanwhile there are still plenty of male mosquitoes and other bugs for insectivores to eat. The sterile males do not adversely affect the environment, or the food chain.
Rinse. Repeat.
See? We don't have to suffer the mosquito plague every summer.

Author of Treating Murder: Book One of the Veronica Lane, M.D. series (medical thriller)