The sterile insect technique (SIT) is used to control insect pests through overwhelming the population in sterile males. The increase in sterile males released into an environment causes the increase in infertile matings. This, in theory, would reduce the population.

However, how would you calculate the number of sterile flies needed to be released in order to be effective? It would be dependent on the reproduction rate of the insect, initial density, and sex ratio in the young, but is there an equation to express this? Or is there simply a generic ratio of the target population that is used?

I'm looking at the example of the New World Screwworm fly, and the eradication in Central America.

  • $\begingroup$ You might also want to consider the relative reproductive capacity of a sterilised vs a wild type fly. $\endgroup$ – March Ho May 18 '15 at 16:43

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