The St. Croix Mosquito Project is an evaluation of the Sterile Insect
Technique (SIT) to reduce the amount of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
in some neighborhoods on St. Croix. Following public engagement, our
partnership, led by the Virgin Islands Department of Health (VIDOH), may
release non-biting, sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes into
some neighborhoods on St. Croix. The goal is to learn how effectively it
will reduce this mosquito in our local environment. Similar programs have
been used around the world with positive results.
This project uses a Wolbachia-based SIT, and does not use genetic modification (GM). Wolbachia is a naturally occurring bacterium. The VIDOH is leading the project in partnership with Verily and MosquitoMate. Funding for this project is provided by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and administered by National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
So what’s next? VIDOH and partners are already working with residents to trap mosquitoes across the island to understand where Aedes aegypti are in St. Croix. We’ve also begun outreach to inform residents about how they can protect themselves from these mosquitoes and how a sterile male release program could work in St. Croix. To find out how you can help, please contact the Outreach Coordinator for the VIDOH Vector Control Program and the St. Croix Mosquito Project at 340-690-9177 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also look at us for local community events including the Agricultural Fair and Wellness Wednesdays.