“Booby-trapping” as an Alternative to Sterile Males for Insect Control


ATTEMPTS are now being made to apply to other pests the sterile male technique, so successful in the suppression of the screw-worm fly Cochliomyia hominivorax in the southern United States. There is, however, a need to devise similar methods which may be even more appropriate in particular cases. One such method which is similar to, but simpler than, the “booby-trapping” method of Morgan1 was suggested as a result of experiments with the Australian sheep blowfly, Lucilia cuprina. Female flies, resistant to dieldrin, which survived 0.5 µl. of 2 per cent dieldrin dissolved in kerosene and di-isobutyl ketone (1 : 1) applied topically to the thorax, were exposed to males from a susceptible strain (LD50< 0.005 per cent dieldrin). Each female killed up to one hundred males through contact during attempted mating. Treated resistant males were capable of killing susceptible females, but the effect was of a lower order of magnitude.


  1. 1

    Morgan, P. B., J. Econ. Entomol., 60, 612 (1967).

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  2. 2

    Crow, J. F., Ann. Rev. Entomol., 2 (1957).

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WHITTEN, M., NORRIS, K. “Booby-trapping” as an Alternative to Sterile Males for Insect Control. Nature 216, 1136 (1967). https://doi.org/10.1038/2161136a0

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