Sterile flies help farmers cut back on the use of pesticides.
Sterile flies help farmers cut back on the use of pesticides.

The mass exodus of 380 million sterile flies from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu to Split, Croatia is meant to help reduce the population of fruit flies in that country’s citrus fruit orchards.

The flies underwent a sterilization process at the Bio-Bee lab’s radioactive facilities, located on the kibbutz. The company’s environmentally friendly, non-chemical pest control method is unique in keeping key pests at bay and cutting back on the use of pesticides in fruit fly eradication areas.

Bio-Fly, a subsidiary of Bio-Bee, was founded “for the purpose of developing and supplying biological control solutions for the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) and other pests, using the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT),” according to the website.

The company has a mass rearing facility for the Mediterranean fruit fly. It supplies sterilized male pupae, as well as sterile male flies for dispersal in agricultural fields.

The latest swarm of flies were scattered along the border areas of Croatia and Bosnia.