Sterile Insect Technique

pp 629-650

Impact of Screwworm Eradication Programmes Using the Sterile Insect Technique

  • M. Vargas-TeránAffiliated withRegional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Food and Agriculture, Organization of the United Nations
  • , H. C. HofmannAffiliated withUSDA/APHIS/IS Screwworm Program
  • , N. E. TweddleAffiliated withAustralian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

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The use of the sterile insect technique (SIT) in New World screwworm Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) eradication programmes has been successfully demonstrated. As a result of a 45-year area-wide campaign, suppression and eradication have been achieved in the USA, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama north of the Canal, some Caribbean Islands, and the outbreak in Libya, North Africa. The humans, livestock, and wildlife in these countries are now free of this dangerous pest. It has been estimated that the annual producer benefits are: USA — USD 796 million, Mexico — USD 292 million, and Central America — USD 77.9 million. In Libya, the estimated benefit/cost ratio was 5:1 in the infested zone, and 10:1 in the whole country. If the New World screwworm were eradicated in South America, it has been estimated that each year USD 3592 million could be saved. Small field trials have confirmed that the SIT would be effective for the area-wide control of the Old World screwworm Chrysomya bezziana (Villeneuve).