A giant technology company will release up to 20 million bacteria-filled, buzzing mosquitoes this summer in Fresno, California. Verily’s mosquitoes aren’t genetically modified. A bonus: Male mosquitoes don’t bite, so Fresno residents won’t be spending the summer itching more than normal. Verily isn’t the first to use Wolbachia mosquitoes for disease control.
Verily’s contribution has been to create machines that automatically rear, count, and sort the mosquitoes by sex, making it possible to create vast quantities for large-scale projects.
The Fresno project will be the biggest U.S. release of sterile mosquitoes to date, Verily says.
Verily is planning to release 1 million mosquitoes a week over a 20-week period across two 300-acre neighborhoods.