Codling moth sterile insect release

Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) is a targeted, environmentally friendly tactic for  controlling wild populations of insect pests. We use Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or Drones to release sterile insects  into an orchard. Once released, our sterile insects find and compete for mating opportunities with wild insects. Matings between sterilized and wild insects do not produce viable offspring. Over time, this technique reduces the wild population. If applied properly, this technique leads to a decline in, and eventually a crash of the entire population.

Releasing sterile insects has several advantages over chemical control.  First, pesticide resistance is increasing and the cost to develop new chemicals is skyrocketing. Second, organic products are increasing in popularity and sterile insects fall under the organic control category. Third, while resistance has been reported in every class of insecticide, it has never been reported in SIT.  Additionally, unlike chemical control, the sterile insect technique does not harm beneficial insects, so secondary pests like mites are kept in check. Finally, unlike most chemical controls, there is no human or environmental impacts from implementing SIT, so there is no re-entry period or maximum residue limits (MRLs) to worry about. Successful eradications of devastating pests such as screw worm fly and Mediterranean fruit fly, serve as examples of the potential of an SIT program. 

 2015 - first use of drones to release sterile insects (Picacho Peak, AZ)

2015 - first use of drones to release sterile insects (Picacho Peak, AZ)

Past experience

M3 Consulting Group has worked with a wide variety of insect suppression and eradication programs both domestically and internationally. M3 pioneered the release of sterile insect via drones in 2015 with the United States Department of Agriculture and was awarded the 2017 United States Department of Agriculture APHIS Small Business Contractor of the Year Award for their cutting edge research in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. 

M3 Sterile Insect Technique Programs:

  • Pink Bollworm Eradication Program (USA)
  • Codling Moth Sterile Insect Release (USA and Canada)
  • Mexican Fruit Fly Suppression (USA)
  • Mosquito SIT (French Polynesia)
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M3 Consulting Group is committed to safeguarding apples thru the use of sterile insect technique. Please complete the following form and we will reach out to you directly to see if Codling Moth Sterile Insect Release is right for you.

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