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The Region

September 01, 1987

Millions of sterile male Mediterranean fruit flies were released in an infested area of southeast Los Angeles County in an attempt to force the crop-destroying pests to mate themselves out of existence. Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner Paul Engler said an estimated 6 1/2 million sterile flies were dumped from a low-flying airplane and released from trucks roving the streets of Maywood and several surrounding cities where 38 Medflies have been found since July 27. Female Medflies, he explained, in most cases mate only once during their lives, which typically span about 30 days, and it is hoped that the female Medflies will mate with the sterile males and, as a result, lay infertile eggs. The area has been sprayed with pesticides.

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