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Seminar Sept. 22 in Austin will address Zika and mosquito management

by Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Travis County is presenting an informational seminar on Zika from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 22 at its offices at 1600-B Smith Road in Austin.

The seminar is free and open to the public. It will provide information on the Zika virus and on mosquitoes and their management. Continue reading

North Carolina officials stress mosquito prevention in wake of Florida Zika cases

In the Carteret County News Times

County health officials are about to launch a mosquito prevention education campaign.

Meanwhile, the county public works department continues its aggressive mosquito spraying program, according to County Planning and General Services Director Eugene Foxworth.  Continue reading

Zika Surge in Miami Neighborhood Prompts Travel Warning

In the New York Times

by Pam Belluck

Federal health officials on Monday urged pregnant women to stay away from a Miami neighborhood where they have discovered additional cases of Zika infection — apparently the first time the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people not to travel to a place in the continental United States.

Florida officials said the number of Zika cases caused by local mosquitoes had risen to 14 from the four announced on Friday: 12 men and two women. They declined to say whether either woman was pregnant. All of the cases have been in one neighborhood. Continue reading

Genetically-modified mosquitoes released in Caymen Islands

The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses, officials in the British Island territory said.

Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don’t bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood, were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island, according to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec. Continue reading

New publications on Zika available from Texas A&M AgriLife

From the Insects in the City blog, Texas A&M AgriLife extension entomologist Mike Merchant provides some new resources for homeowners on how to prepare for the Zika virus.

Study compares insect repellents and rates their effectiveness

The Zika virus has made many people more aware of the need to wear repellents. Consumer Reports tested several DEET-based and natural repellents and recommended several brands in their April issue. In addition, in 2015, a group of researchers from New Mexico State University also tested several DEET-based and natural repellants, along with a bath oil, one perfume and a skin patch to compare a more varied group of products.

The peer-reviewed article, which appeared in the Journal of Insect Science in 2015, compared ten “repellents” to a control. Three DEET-based products were tested, including the popular OFF Deep Woods repellent, in addition to four natural repellents, two fragrances and a mosquito skin patch containing Thiamin B1. Continue reading

Entomological Society provides information on the Asian tiger mosquito

This week is National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, and the Entomological Society of America is supporting the effort with a special collection of articles about the Asian tiger mosquito.

Like its close relative Aedes aegypti, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been in the news recently due to its ability to transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Unlike Aedes aegypti, which is mainly found in areas where the weather is warm year-round, Aedes albopictus can tolerate colder weather, and in the United States it is found as far north as New York and New Jersey. As its name implies, this invasive insect came to North America from Asia in the 1980s and has since become a well-established pest in many areas.

Read the rest of this post at Entomology Today