Floodwater mosquitoes may be a problem in areas of heavy rain

Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Southwest Farm Press

A wave of dangerous storms that recently rolled through the state brought large amounts rain and snow, and may have sparked a rise in the population of giant pests known as floodwater mosquitoes.

Common in Oklahoma, floodwater mosquitoes, sometimes called gallinippers, can grow up to six times larger than common mosquitoes. Continue reading

Zika is making headlines, but West Nile virus may be more prevalent this year

In Georgia FACES

By Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

With its shocking impact on babies and mothers, the Zika virus has gotten a lot of attention. However, some entomologists are looking at the current, abnormally dry weather and becoming concerned that another mosquito-borne illness could become a threat later this summer.

Climatically, the stage has been set for West Nile virus to spread later this summer, said Elmer Gray, a public health entomologist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Continue reading

Don’t let ticks keep you out of the woods this summer

By Melissa Jackson, University of Georgia

Don’t be afraid of ticks, says Nancy Hinkle, a University of Georgia professor of entomology.

“We need to be aware, we need to be cautious,” she said. Here in the Southeast, you cannot get Lyme disease from a tick in the summer, she said. The carrier is a winter tick, a deer tick. “That’s the time of year when people are most likely to encounter the deer tick.” Continue reading

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

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

Virus Advances Through East Caribbean

From the New York Times

by Frances Robles

A painful mosquito-borne virus common in Africa and Asia has advanced quickly throughout the eastern Caribbean in the past two months, raising the prospect that a once-distant illness will become entrenched throughout the region, public health experts say.

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Breadfruit can be effective mosquito repellent, studies show


Breadfruit, used as a folk remedy in Pacific regions to control insects, is an effective mosquito repellent, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found.

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UK entomologist details ways to reduce mosquito populations

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Aug. 30, 2012) – Cases of West Nile virus continue to climb across the state. As of Aug. 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed three human cases of West Nile in Kentucky. The Office of the State Veterinarian reported eight equine cases in Kentucky as of Aug. 27. This is compared to one equine case and five human cases of West Nile in 2011.

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University Research Leads to DEET Alternative, Naturally

If you and your family headed to the beach, the woods, or the lake this summer, your medicine cabinet likely contains bug spray. And that bug spray likely contains DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) – a chemical used in most insect-repellents on the market today such as Off and Cutter’s Skinsations.

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