One billion sterile flies a week (!!!) – that is the production of the world’s second largest Mediterranean Fruit Fly facility.
Opened in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the factory of sterilized flies, located in the Chiapas state of Mexico, helps keep the country’s growing agriculture pest free.
An environmentally friendly method used in dozens of countries to keep fruit fly populations in check is the sterile insect technique (SIT), which uses irradiation to sterilise male insects. After being released these sterile insects will mate with wild females, but this mating will produce no offspring, thereby reducing pest populations over time.
It's used in Australia currently in response to Queensland Fruit Fly outbreaks and New Zealand works closely with counterparts on research in this area – we’ve got more information on the fruit fly page of our website here.