A personal account of developing the sterile insect technique to eradicate the screwworm
from Curacao, Florida and the southeastern United States.
ARS also has a screwworm
facility in Panama City, Panama.
22: Watch for screwworm
and blow fly eggs in sores or dung locks on your sheep.
Although male irradiation has had successes--it wiped out screwworm
in the United States--that technique is costly.
Since the New World screwworm
, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Coquerel) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) was eradicated from the Island of Curacao in 1954 using this technology, the SIT has received increased attention.
Experts in Latin America and the Caribbean already have considerable experience in using SIT against fruit flies and the screwworm
Travelers who have visited tropical areas may exhibit aggressive forms of obligatory myiases, in which the larvae (maggots) invasively feed on living tissue, The risk of a traveler's acquiring a screwworm
infestation has been considered negligible, but with the increasing popularity of adventure sports and wildlife travel, this risk may need to be reassessed.
An expanded screwworm
cryopreservation protocol will be used to amass a large number of embryos to serve as a back-up repository for rearing facilities in Mexico and Panama.
When only occasional ticks are seen, the simplest way of handling them is to squirt them with a tick bomb (such as those made for dogs) or dab them with a little screwworm
Antennal sensilla of the New World screwworm
fly, Cochliomyia hominivorax (Diptera: Calliphoridae).
For example, among ARS's most successful biocontrol projects has been the eradication of the screwworm
from North America by release of sterile male insects.
More than a half-century of ARS research and leadership of intensive interagency eradication efforts has kept the United States free of the screwworm
, Cochliomyia hominivorax, since 1982, and Mexico since 1991.