(Heartland News at 9) -
The Environmental Protection Agency announced infected mosquitoes will be released in several states to help fight the spread of diseases, including the Zika virus.
The EPA registered a new mosquito biopesticide that can reduce the population of the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes.
According to the EPA, live male mosquitoes are infected with the ZAP strain, a particular strain of the Wolbachia bacterium. Those males would then mate with females and produce offspring that would not survive.
The agency hopes this would cause the mosquito populations to decrease.
The Wolbachia are naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in most insect species.
The EPA says the infected male mosquitoes can be sold for five years in the District of Columbia and the following states: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont and West Virginia.
According to the EPA, before the infected mosquitoes can be used in each of those jurisdictions, it must be registered in the state or district.
When the five-year time limit ends, the EPA says the registration will expire unless the registrant requests further action from them.
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