Nuclear Technology Efficiently Supports The Insect Pest Control

To protect crops against parasites and harmful insects, nuclear science has conducted extensive research for targeted, environmentally friendly biological control: the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

The IAEAin cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has helped countries implement SIT, in which irradiation is used to sterilize insect pests and thereby suppress or eradicate their populations over time.

TIS is a kind of “birth control” of pests and it is based on mass breeding of male flies. These males are then sterilized by gamma radiation and released massively into the wild, where they can no longer reproduce.

The Genetic Sexing Strains (GSS) is a method that enables the separation of large numbers of insects according to sex earlier in the insects’ development cycle, so making the SIT application more efficient.

Read the full IAEA story.

Learn more about the use of nuclear technologies for food safety and agriculture on ENS Nuclear Basics.