EPA Registers the Wolbachia ZAP Strain in Live Male Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

On November 3, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency registered a new mosquito biopesticide – ZAP Males® – that can reduce local populations of the type of mosquito (Aedes albopictus, or Asian Tiger Mosquitoes) that can spread numerous diseases of significant human health concern, including the Zika virus.

ZAP Males® are live male mosquitoes that are infected with the ZAP strain, a particular strain of the Wolbachia bacterium. Infected males mate with females, which then produce offspring that do not survive. (Male mosquitoes do not bite people.) With continued releases of the ZAP Males®, local Aedes albopictus populations decrease. Wolbachia are naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in most insect species. Continue reading

The spread of mosquito borne diseases in the U.S.

Excerpted from Entomology Today

A team of researchers from Brazil and Argentina propose several ideas for the many mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in a paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Continue reading

Rio fights Zika with biggest release yet of bacteria-infected mosquitoes

In Nature online

by Ewen Callaway

Two South American metropolises are enlisting bacteria-infected mosquitoes to fight Zika, in the world’s biggest test yet of an unconventional yet promising approach to quell mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia bacteria — which hinder the insects’ ability to transmit Zika, dengue and other viruses — will be widely released in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and MedellĂ­n, Colombia, over the next two years, scientists announced on 26 October. The deployments will reach around 2.5 million people in each city. Continue reading

Free Collection of articles on Aedes albopictus [Asian tiger mosquito] – Journal of Medical Entomology – Sept 2016 issue

This collection of scientific papers is particularly timely because of the potential involvement of Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, with Zika virus.

In particular, these 4 may be of general interest to an IPM audience  – Continue reading

Two new scientists at Texas A&M target mosquitoes to halt Zika risks

by Steve Byrnes

Today’s news is flooded with reports on Zika; none of them good…until now.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research has fielded a Zika team led by two scientists who joined the department of entomology at Texas A&M University on Aug. 1, said Dr. David Ragsdale, department head at College Station. Continue reading

North Carolina scientists mapping mosquito eggs to prepare for Zika

Each week, Anastasia Figurskey hides 15 plastic cups filled with water in bushes near spots around Wake County where people will walk by: Gas stations, front yards of home and recycling drop-off centers all fit the bill.

After a few days the Wake County employee fishes brown paper marked with tiny black dots from each cup. After the paper dries, inside a windowless insect-hatching room at North Carolina State University, she peers at every egg under a microscope. Continue reading

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