Sterile moths wipe out cotton pest

November 7, 2010

By hammersmith

[Source: Nature News] – Between May and October for four consecutive years, aeroplanes criss-crossed the morning skies above Arizona’s cotton fields, dropping millions of tiny moths onto the croplands below. The little grey insects are among the world’s most notorious agricultural pests: their larvae are the pink bollworms (Pectinophora gossypiella), also known as ‘pinkies’.

However, the moths released from the planes were different from those responsible for the caterpillars munching their way through the state’s cotton crops. They were sterile.

For more information: Sterile moths wipe out cotton pest