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

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

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