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21st Century Pest Control Creating 'virgin' insects

21st Century Pest Control – Creating 'virgin' insects

In a new break through, scientists have isolated a molecular receptor that is triggered in female insects post-mating which is responsible for egg-laying.  If scientists can now find a way of blocking the action of this receptor they may have found a way to massively reduce insect populations.  Interestingly, the same receptor appears  to be common to all insects that have been tested. 

The implications for pest control are profound.   It would finally provide a way to actually reduce the reproduction capabilities of insect populations.  Traditional pest control works on the premise that by killing part of the population we can reduce the total population.  Unfortunately, as insects breed in such a prolific way, this method of pest control hasn't proved to be effective in the long term and more crucially it creates populations with immunity to certain chemicals. 

If scientists can artificially trigger the molecular receptor, they would effectively disable a large part of the breeding populations and this might genuinely reduce the insect population on a on-going basis.  What remains to be seen, is if these methods can be proved to work in the natural environment rather than in a test laboratory, nonetheless they provide a very exciting new development in science based pest control and could potentially have a tremendous impact on insect populations.