Eradication of screw-worms through release of sterilized males

R. C. Bushland, A. W. Lindquist and E. F. Knipling,  Science,  122:287-288. 1955.

Although the sterilizing effect of ionizing radiations has been known for years, it is only recently that entomologists have attempted to take advantage of the phenomenon for insect control. Knipling (1) has theorized on the effects of releasing sterilized males among a normal insect population. In 1947, on a visit to the Kerrville, Tex., laboratory, he proposed investigations on the mating habits of the screw-worm, Callitroga hominivorax (Cqrl.), and experiments with sterilized males. In such experiments Bushland and Hopkins (2) found that screw-worms were easily sterilized by exposing pupae to x-rays or gamma rays. They showed that under laboratory conditions male screw-worms mated repeatedly but fe males only once. If a female mated with a sterilized male it did not mate again and laid eggs that did not hatch. When mixed populations of normal and sterilized insects were observed in cages, the sterilized and normal males competed about equally for mates.