LA County unleashes sterile mosquitoes to control the population. Here's how it works.

More mosquitoes will be buzzing through the Los Angeles County area − but it's meant to make things better, not worse.

Officials have launched a new pilot program called Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), according to an April press release from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. Under this program, they plan to release "X-ray sterilized male" mosquitoes in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The goal is to target the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which have been known to spread viruses, including Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya, and dengue. Officials say the mosquitoes are challenging to manage and could become resistant to typical insecticides.

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The mosquitoes have been causing havoc for residents

Officials said the mosquitoes were first spotted in the city of El Monte more than a decade ago. Pest control company Terminix ranked California as the state with the most mosquitoes in the nation.

The invasive bugs, in particular, have "significantly altered the outdoor experience" for residents, so officials want to hinder its reproduction cycles.

How the Sterile Insect Technique works

According to the press release, the sterile insects enter the selected areas "where they mate with wild females, resulting in no offspring and a declining pest population."

"Once the sterile males mate with the local females, the resulting eggs will not hatch, decreasing the overall mosquito population over time," the press release said.

The good news is that although mosquitoes will have a greater presence in communities, they do not bite or spread viruses, the District's Director of Scientific-Technical Services, Steve Vetrone, said. He added that the technique is an environmentally friendly solution to reduce mosquito populations and minimize transmission of diseases.

"While they may see a few extra mosquitoes flying around, we're not going to be adding to the biting pressure that they're experiencing," he told CBS News. "Hopefully, in the next couple of months, we're going to be reducing that bite. It's going to look worse before it gets better."

When does the program launch?

According to the report, the sterilized male mosquitoes are expected to be released weekly until the fall. The first batch was unleashed on Thursday, and officials will monitor the progress. USA TODAY reached out for additional comment.

"SIT will not replace traditional mosquito control methods but rather serve as an additional tool in our toolbox, enhancing our ability to manage mosquito populations effectively," District General Manager Susanne Kluh said in the press release.

Last year, experts told USA Today more rainfall and warm temperatures could contribute to an increasing presence of mosquitoes.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sterile male mosquito program helps control the insects in LA County