Approved by the Environment Protection Agency this week, the pilot project is designed to test if the genetically modified mosquito is a viable alternative to spraying insecticides to control the Aedes aegypti. It's a species of mosquito that carries several deadly diseases, such as Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.
The mosquito OX5034 has been altered to produce female offspring that die in the larval stage, well before hatching and growing large enough to bite and spread disease, CNN reports. Only the female mosquito bites for blood, which she needs to mature her eggs. Males feed only on nectar, and are thus not a carrier for disease.