Mass- and laboratory-rearing of insects is a key component of research projects and several integrated pest management strategies; vector control via sterile insect techniques (SIT) has been and continues to be an effective means of pest and disease control (e.g. Malaria, Dengue etc.). In research, the insect pest must be investigated using high numbers of individuals to evaluate all potential control methods. In SIT, large numbers of insects have to be released repeatedly. The requirement for efficient mosquito mass rearing technology has been one of the major obstacles preventing the large scale application of the Sterile Insect Technique against mosquitoes. Furthermore, an increased interest in using insects as alternative, sustainable source of protein for feed and food can be noticed and requires the development of cost efficient insect mass rearing solutions.
Insects have highly varied habits and habitats. Their size ranges from a millimetre to over a hand span long and their food and feeding habits are equally variable. Insects are known to occur in subzero temperatures to the inhospitable hot springs. Owing to such varied preferences, insects’ rearing requires specific techniques for different types of insects. At Vienna Scientific Instruments we work together with entomologists, especially partners at he IAEA/FAO laboratories in Seibersdorf (Austria), to develop instruments and tools such as insect rearing cages, larval rearing tray and rack systems and adapted automatic feeding systems for those rack and tray systems, brushing systems to remove eggs from oviposition paper strips, and sized-based sex separators. We are currently developing devices allowing for a controlled (and automated) portioning and release, please get in contact for further information.