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A chemosterilant is any chemical compound used to control economically destructive or disease-causing pests (usually insects) by causing temporary or permanent sterility of one or both of the sexes or preventing maturation of the young to a sexually functional adult stage. The mating of sterilized insects with fertile insects produces no offspring, and if the number of sterile insects is kept constant, the percentage of sterile insects will increase, and fewer young will be produced in each successive generation. Chemosterilants should be applied in the larval or pupal stage of the insect to give rise to sterile adults or in the newly emerged adults before they become sexually mature.
Two types of chemosterilants are commonly used. Antimetabolites resemble a substance that the cell or tissue needs that the organism's body mistakes them for a true metabolite and tries to incorporate them in its normal building processes. The fit of the chemical is not exactly right and the metabolic process comes to a halt. Alkylating agents are a group of chemicals that act on chromosomes. These chemicals are extremely reactive, capable of intense cell destruction, damage to chromosomes and production of mutations.
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