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Learn More About Wolbachia

Image of Wolbachia Process

 What is Wolbachia? 

Wolbachia (Wohl-bach-ee-uh) is a common type of bacteria found in insects. Approximately 6 in 10 of all types of insects, including butterflies, bees, and beetles, around the world, have Wolbachia. Wolbachia bacteria cannot make people or non-target animals (for example, fish, birds, pets) sick.  

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How does Wolbachia help control invasive mosquitoes? 

When male Ae. aegypti mosquitoes with Wolbachia mate with wild female mosquitoes that do not have Wolbachia, the eggs will not hatch. Non-biting Male mosquitoes with Wolbachia are released regularly into an area by mosquito control professionals. Male mosquitoes with Wolbachia mate with wild female mosquitoes. Because the eggs don’t hatch, the number of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes decreases. 


Is Wolbachia harmful to people or other animals? 

Wolbachia is safe for humans and the environment. Independent risk analyses indicate that the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes poses negligible risk to humans and the environment. 

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Will this method help decrease disease outbreaks? 

Releasing mosquitoes with Wolbachia is not intended to stop a disease outbreak. However, releasing these types of mosquitoes over several months can reduce the number of specific mosquito species, such as the invasive Aedes mosquito which can transmit diseases.  


What can I do as a resident to help OCMVCD to help combat this invasive species? 

Mosquito control is a shared responsibility. Everyone must take charge of their yard and eliminate standing water and unneeded containers weekly. Residents can sign up to become a mosquito advocate in their neighborhood to educate their community: