Controlling Mosquitoes with Pheromones

A new product that can help control mosquito populations is currently under development. Materia, Inc., has developed a cost-effective synthesized version of the natural pheromone called Mosquito Oviposition Pheromone (MOP). MOP is naturally produced by female mosquitoes of the Culex genus when laying eggs as a signal to other female mosquitoes to lay their eggs in the same location. Once fully developed, this product can be used to lure mosquitoes to an area, either for trapping and monitoring or for poisoning. MOP still has to go through a registration process with the Environmental Protection Agency, a process that could take two to three years, before it is available to the public. Field testing in Mexico and South America has shown the product to be quite effective, according to the company.

According to Mark Trimmer, PhD, executive vice president and vice president of research and development for Materia, MOP has the potential to help get rid of mosquitoes and reduce the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Western equine encephalitis.

About the Author

Sarah Evers Conrad

Sarah Evers Conrad has a bachelor’s of arts in journalism and equine science from Western Kentucky University. As a lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Conrad started her career at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care magazine. She has also worked for the United States Equestrian Federation as the managing editor of Equestrian magazine and director of e-communications and served as content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. When she isn’t freelancing, Conrad spends her free time enjoying her family, reading, practicing photography, traveling, crocheting, and being around animals in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.

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