Earlier this month, reports of the Florida Keys approving the trials of genetically modified mosquitoes began to swirl, and the majority started to panic.
This panic was quickly quaffed by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Board, who claims the GM mosquitoes are a newly developed solution to fight mosquitoes. With the south — including key areas of Georgia and Florida — seeing an influx in Zika Virus outbreaks in recent years, this technology could be a viable option to finishing off the blood-borne illness (and other like it) once and for all.
However, many are still worried about the trials — which are set to begin sometime next year — due to the unknown repercussions these genetically modified pests could potentially cause in the future. To gain a better understanding, let’s explore just what a genetically modified mosquito is meant to do:
What Are Genetically Modified Mosquitoes?
Developed by a british company called Oxitec, genetically modified mosquitoes have one purpose: reduce the population of mosquitoes that are known to carry the Zika Virus.
With successful trials already finished in Brazil and the Cayman Islands, Oxitec’s GM male mosquitoes — which are a breed known as Aedes Aegypti — have proven to be semi-effective as a new method for mosquito control. Upon release, Oxtiec’s mosquitoe’s seek out their female counterparts for mating. Once the female Aedes Aegypti has layed her larvae, the offspring is supposed to immediately die. According to Oxitec, this process will lead to the extermination of Zika-carrying mosquitoes worldwide.
Are Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Dangerous?
With GM mosquitoes still in the infant stages of CDC-approved trials, there’s little knowledge or data to gain of the ill effects (if any) they pose the environment or human life long term.
However, many believe these clinically-developed mosquitoes can carry toxins that very well could be dangerous to our health. This fear is worsened due to the fact that these male mosquitoes breed with female mosquitoes — AKA the mosquitoes that prey on our blood — allowing them to transmit these unknown toxins.
Proven Alternatives For Mosquito Control
While there’s no way of knowing (yet) just what these genetically modified mosquitoes are truly capable — either positively or negatively — we do possess many safe, proven alternatives for mosquito control.
With Zika still going strong, now is the perfect time to start implementing the best practices for effective mosquito control.
This includes protecting your yard from disease-carrying mosquitoes by installing an automatic mosquito control system. Mr. Mister, an Atlanta-based mosquito control company, offers the highest quality mosquito misting systems to fit any sized yard. With Mr. Mister’s 100% biodegradable mosquito misting spray, you can rest assured knowing your yard is a mosquito-free zone. It’s efforts like these that go a long way in controlling mosquitoes now and in the future.
We hope you’re finding our Atlanta Mosquito Control blog helpful and informative! For more information on what makes Mr. Mister Atlanta’s premier provider of innovative mosquito control solutions and techniques click here. Or, visit our Testimonials page to see what some of our satisfied customers are saying.