Thousands of bacteria-infected mosquitoes were released in the wild Tuesday near Key West, testing a new way to kill mosquitoes that carry Zika and other viruses.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District released 20,000 male mosquitoes infected by the Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria.
The offspring produced when the lab-bred mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes won’t survive to adulthood. Male mosquitoes don’t bite, and Wolbachia is not harmful to humans.
‘The eggs never even hatch,’ said Stephen Dobson, MosquitoMate’s founder.
The infected mosquitoes were flown in cardboard tubes — similar to ones used in paper towel rolls — from Lexington, Kentucky, to Key West on Tuesday morning.