Florida to soon release Genetically Modified Mosquitoes.
In the '90s, scientists started altering the genetic composition of fruits and vegetables, ever since, they have manipulated many plants' genes. In the 2000s, genetic modification of non-plant organisms gained commonplace. In 2020, scientists have genetically manipulated 750 million mosquitoes, and these modified bloodsuckers are soon to be released into the wild.
This sounds like something that'd only happen in the movies- leading to a zombie apocalypse- but it is, in fact, a reality. After working on these pests, scientists intend to release them in Florida's Key West in different batches within the next two years.
These mosquitoes were modified so that their female offspring- which are responsible for the spread of diseases- will die before they reach adulthood. The ultimate aim is to use these genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the overall population of female mosquitos.
Being executed by British-owned US company Oxitec, this project uses the mosquito species Aedes aegypti, which is rampant in South Florida, as its subject.
It is estimated that mosquitoes kill up to 750,000 people yearly through the spread of
malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika.
Although these genetically modified mosquitos have been tested extensively in Brazil and didn't cause any harmful effects, there is still widespread skepticism about their long-term effects. There is, in fact, a petition on change.org seeking for the project to stop.
If all goes as planned, in 2021, Texas and Florida will be the first states to release these genetically modified mosquitoes. If the project yields successful results, other states may join the trend soon. If you enjoy odd, strange, or informational pest control blog posts, check back frequently. Imperial pest prevention, a pest control company you know and trust.