Mosquitoes carry serious diseases including avian malaria, which threatens to drive many forest bird species to extinction in the next few years. To combat this problem, scientists have developed a method to transfer a naturally-occurring “birth control” bacteria to local mosquitoes in a lab. Only male mosquitoes, which don’t bite birds or people and therefore don’t transmit diseases, would be released. These male mosquitoes would mate with wild female mosquitoes, but their eggs would not hatch. This safe, targeted technique could drastically reduce mosquitoes in our forests and potentially save our birds from extinction.
The Landscape-Scale Mosquito Control Steering Committee has been formed to explore the use of this technique in Hawai‘i. At this website you can learn about the partnership, the birds being impacted, the mosquitoes transmitting diseases, and the Incompatible Insect Technique. We have answers to frequently asked questions and will update this site with news as the project develops.