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

Zika website gives Kentuckians latest information

By Katie Pratt

University of Kentucky entomologists recently developed a website that will have the most up-to-date information on the Zika virus and its spread, as mosquito populations around the state begin to build. The website is http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/ZIKA/1kyzika.html.

“Mosquitoes are beginning to appear in the state now, and their populations will peak during the mid- to late summer,” said Lee Townsend, extension entomologist with the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and website administrator. “The website has information on the mosquitoes which are potential virus carriers in Kentucky and will include information on locally transmitted cases as they appear.” Continue reading

How to protect yourself from mosquitoes this summer

In Delta Farm Press

by Randy LaBauve, LSU AgCenter

Summer is not far away, and with it will come swarms of mosquitoes, which bring the threat of West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis and the potential for other diseases like Zika virus. That’s why it’s important for people to distinguish fact from fiction when choosing a plan of defense to fight their bites.

“West Nile virus is something we’re going to have to deal with annually,” said Kristen Healy, LSU AgCenter medical entomologist. “So whether or not Zika virus becomes an issue in Louisiana, it’s important to remember that you should always protect yourself from mosquitoes.” Continue reading

National Zika Virus Pest Alert released

In response to the emergence of the Zika virus in the Americas, a national pest alert has been developed by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers. The pest alert and links to additional resources are available at http://ncipmc.org/action/alerts/zika.php to assist individuals in reducing their exposure to mosquitoes as well as discussing ways to eliminate mosquito larval and pupal development sites. The pest alert can be downloaded, printed and distributed as needed.   Continue reading

USDA Pest Management Program Targets Virus-transmitting Mosquitoes

By Sandra Avant, Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their collaborators recently completed an area-wide pest management program targeting the Asian tiger mosquito (ATM), Aedes albopictus, which can transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika.

The six-year project, which demonstrated effective strategies to control the ATM in New Jersey, was a partnership between researchers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville, Florida; Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the Mercer and Monmouth County Mosquito Control agencies. Entomologists at CMAVE’s Mosquito and Fly Research Unit also worked with economists at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, to convey important public health and socio-economic benefits of mosquito control. Continue reading

More information on Using Repellent Products to Protect against Dengue

A recent outbreak in Hawaii of dengue, a mosquito-borne viral illness, has raised questions about the use of insect repellents to protect against the mosquitoes that transmit dengue (Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti). Insect repellents registered by the Environmental Protection Agency can be expected to repel these mosquitoes, provided the EPA-approved labeling says the product is for use to protect against mosquitoes in general or against Aedes mosquitoes in particular. EPA must have reviewed and accepted data to support these claims.  Continue reading

Testing mosquito control and education: selecting sites for future studies

For the past two decades, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been one of the primary pests of residents along the East coast. Voracious and difficult to control, this mosquito reproduces quickly and can bite repeatedly. Most management strategies have centered on prevention or control through insecticides. However, they work only if everyone in the area complies with those strategies. In the first step of a multi-phase study, a New Jersey research team studied the effects of geography, education levels and socioeconomic status on mosquito population levels in two New Jersey counties.

Continue reading