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What if the drones could help counter the Tiger mosquito attack? This seems to confirm an experiment conducted near Montpellier in any case, the results of which were published on Tuesday.
For many years, the tiger mosquito has been seen in Europe and it continues to grow. Several cases have already been reported in Belgium, now found in 65 divisions in France. It is one of the most aggressive species, causing us to sting and itching terribly, as well as spreading all kinds of diseases like dengue, chikungunya or Zika to us.
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To stop their proliferation, various methods are implemented. In particular monitoring the water droplets where the larvae are developing and drying them as soon as possible.
Among our French neighbors, a new technique is bearing fruit: the sterile male drone drop. The first tests were first conducted on the island of Reunion (see video below), so this technique was first used on the mainland of France this summer.
40,000 mosquitoes were released
A drone specially designed for the experiment detected a total of 40,000 sterilized mosquitoes (not only female bites) and fluorescent powder (to separate them from wild mosquitoes) in the town of Prades-Le-Lez. On the outskirts of Montpellier.
Egg-collecting traps Scented traps are installed on the floor to determine their incubation rate in the laboratory as well as to capture thousands of mosquitoes. Results? Scientists found that 2.5-5.4% of mosquitoes were clean and that the egg incubation rate dropped from 95% to 83% before release.
However, these statistics are still unofficial and the operational phase has not yet begun. However this experiment remains encouraging and may lead to new studies of this kind and their funding. However, in order to have a real effect on egg fertilization, sterile male mosquitoes must be ten times larger than wild mosquitoes.