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Pilot Program Launch in Localized Areas of Sunland-Tujunga 

Los Angeles, CA  (October 12, 2023) - A new pilot program is underway in the Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood called the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT is an environmentally safe and chemical-free approach for the control of certain insect pests. The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) is exploring the use of (SIT) to control invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and is evaluating the efficacy of this innovative technology.

At this point in the program, the District released locally acquired and reared, non-irradiated and non-biting, male mosquitoes from the area on Thursday, October 12, 2023, within the specified zones of Alpine Village and Sevenhills neighborhoods in Sunland-Tujunga. Once released, the District set traps in these neighborhoods to recollect and recapture the mosquitoes. This helped determine the size of the local mosquito population, how far these mosquitoes can fly, and ensure the efficiency and success of the pilot program in reducing the local population of invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

 

Source: Google Earth
The non-biting, male mosquitoes will be released within the red outlined areas on the map, which include the neighborhoods of Alpine Village and Sevenhills in Sunland-Tujunga.

 

Overview of the Pilot Program

 An assesment of the invasive, locally acquired Aedes population was conducted for the pilot program during the inital phase of the mark, release, recapture (MRR) evaluation. MRR involved marking non-biting & non-sterilized male mosquitoes with a color dye (dust), releasing them, and recapturing them in traps over several weeks.  

In the second phase of the pilot program, the marked non-biting, sterilized male Aedes mosquitoes will be released to mate with the local females. The resulting eggs will not hatch and reduce the mosquito population in the localized area. Traps will be set over several weeks to evalute efficiency and success of the program. Releasing Aedes X-rayed sterilized male mosquitoes over several months can significantly reduce the risk of potential outbreaks and mosquito-borne diseases such as denuge, Zika,  and chikungunya.

What to Expect

Residents in those communties may see and experience the presense of more mosquitoes immediately following the releases. Remember, male mosquitoes DO NOT BITE. Only female mosquitoes bite and use the bloodmeal to produce eggs. These marked male mosquitoes will not result in more bites. Residents may see our staff in the field more frequently setting traps to collect mosquitoes.

 

May contain: animal, insect, and invertebrate
Graphic comparison between a male and female mosquito.

 

 For any questions or concerns, please contact the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) at 562-944-9656 or email:  info@GLAmosquito.org

About GLACVCD
The Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District is a public health service agency formed under the authority of the California State Health & Safety Code. Our mission is to reduce populations of public health vectors below nuisance levels and prevent human infection associated with mosquito-transmitted diseases.