Well it turns out you can take a lot of mosquitoes away without killing them
Sending mosquitoes by post doesn’t seem like a good idea on the surface.
Still, researchers at New Mexico State University have been looking into this issue, as part of an effort to help control the spread of the disease.
Returning sterilized male mosquitoes from the laboratory to the wild is one way to reduce their numbers, as they mate with females but produce no offspring.
But there is the problem of how to send thousands, if not millions of mosquitoes to a chosen wilderness area. Would they survive a 24 hour shipping process? And how many would you be able to put in a package?
The answer is yes, and you can incorporate a large number of insects, according to a study published in the Journal of Insect Science Wednesday.
NMSU’s Hae-Na Chung and his team of researchers found that you could hold 240 live mosquitoes per cubic centimeter, which equates to 1,200 mosquitoes per teaspoon.
“We started our experiments in 50 milliliter tubes and quickly learned that you have to breed a lot of mosquitoes to fill such a tube – 10,000 males fit into one. We then switched to 10 milliliter syringes and were amazed at how many mosquitoes you can insert. one, up to 2,500, “Immo Hansen, associate professor at NMSU, said in an online statement.
For a shipping test, a specific number of mosquitoes were packaged in 10 milliliter syringes, the plungers of which were then squeezed to the 1 milliliter (1 cubic centimeter) mark.
They were then packaged in a Styrofoam container with a cooling element and then shipped from Las Cruces, New Mexico to Davis, California. Upon delivery, the mosquitoes were inspected for survival rate and damage.
At 240 mosquitoes per cubic centimeter, the highest density tested, scales were missing and some insects had slightly damaged wings. But the tightness of the packaging seemed to be more of an advantage.
“The high mortality of the not-so-densely packed mosquitoes in our real-world shipping test was unexpected,” Hansen added. “We hypothesize that vibrations during transport, especially during flight, affected poorly packed mosquitoes more than densely packed mosquitoes.
The next step for the researchers is to find out how fit the mosquitoes are after the expedition, which they aim to find out through semi-field experiments next year. Are you itchy?