Wolbachia Mosquito Release
The Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control & Habitat Management Division, in collaboration with MosquitoMate, Inc., will introduce the Wolbachia Innovative Mosquito Control Program beginning January 2018, to test the effectiveness of a new method in the reduction of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The program will designate a one-half-square-mile treatment area and a similarly-sized control area within the City of South Miami. Surveys of the baseline Aedes aegypti populations will be taken before and then again after weekly or twice-weekly treatments.
Wolbachia is a naturally-occurring bacterium present in up to 60 percent of all the different species of insects around us, including some mosquitoes. It is not infectious and cannot be transmitted to any warm-blooded animals or humans.
The program involves the release of male mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia. Male mosquitoes cannot bite and because they do not bite or blood feed, male mosquitoes are incapable of transmitting diseases. Wolbachia mosquitoes do not harm the environment. The released male mosquitoes mate with the female mosquitoes. The resulting eggs do not hatch, which can reduce the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that can transmit mosquito-borne viruses.
After initial monitoring of the mosquito population using standard mosquito surveillance equipment (BG-Sentinel Traps and ovitraps), MosquitoMate will release non-biting male mosquitoes into the treatment area every week for several months. The number of male mosquitoes released will be adjusted based on the initial results and seasonal change in the mosquito population.
MosquitoMate male mosquitoes are not genetically modified. The male mosquitoes that will be used in this project have been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
MosquitoMate has completed successful trials in Kentucky, California, and New York. Trials have shown significant reduction in the female Aedes aegypti mosquito population. The released male mosquitoes only mate with the females of the same species (Aedes aegypti) so there is no effect on other mosquito species.