skip to main content


M3 Contributes Expert Experience at the International Sterile Insect Technique Meeting

Friday Nov 15th, 2019

united national foods
Fruitily mass rearing facility

M3 Consulting Group was honored to attend a joint United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization / International Atomic Energy Agency (FAO/IAEA) Research Coordination Meeting, which focused on advancing the field of Sterile Insect Technique in Lepidopteran pests. The meeting was held in Mendoza, Argentina from 21 – 25 October, 2019

Lepidoptera, such as codling moth and navel orangeworm, are among the most injurious pests to cropping systems world wide. If left unchecked, these pests can cause profound levels of damage, may limit/eliminate trade agreements between countries and have the capacity to destroy entire industries.

In order to respond to local problems and mitigate future threats, FAO/IAEA assembled a body of internationally recognized experts from 12 countries in the field of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) to present current research and discuss emerging technologies and techniques which bolster the effectiveness of SIT.

Nathan Moses-Gonzales, Chief Executive Officer of M3 Consulting Group is a member of this expert group and shared some of the results and outcomes related to codling moth SIT in Washington state. Moses-Gonzales reported on the rapid scaling of SIT in Washington and described some of the applications and limitations of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in SIT applications. Critical to the success of these tools is a strong, consistent logistical network which supports the biology of sterile insects. The use of UAS represents a critical improvement to SIT and is the first major change in SIT in the past 50 years.

M3 Consulting Group continues to be a world leader in the research and development of autonomous tools which impact Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches. The release of sterile codling moth in support of the Washington apple industry provides growers with a new tool in the IPM toolbox. When deployed systematically into IPM systems, SIT may enable growers to achieve control of Lepidopteran pests at or below Economic Injury Levels.

In addition to discussing the state of the arts related to UAS in SIT, Moses-Gonzales also discussed the development of a codling moth mass rearing facility, which will be located in Washington state.


Scale model of facility