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Diseases like Zika, malaria, and Chikungunya can be transmitted by mosquitoes. Modified mosquitoes are mosquitoes that have been changed to help reduce their populations and the spread of human diseases. These changes limit their ability to breed. Products that kill mosquitoes or impact their breeding are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Other modifications may be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including products that reduce the spread of disease to or from mosquitoes.

Using modification methods may reduce some pesticide use. They may also make existing control programs more effective. EPA looks at risks for humans and the environment. Based on their analysis, harmful effects are not expected from modified mosquitoes. A few modifications are currently approved by the EPA and the FDA. As modified mosquitoes do not live for multiple generations, they may need to be released into the wild repeatedly. Three methods for modifying mosquitos are described below.

More about sterilized mosquitoes:

More about Wolbachia infected mosquitoes:

More about genetic modifications in mosquitoes:

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Additional Resources

Last updated August 11, 2022