Help save a life with a bed net

Originally in Insects in the City

How would you like to save a life today? Through pest control? It’s not as hard as you might think.

In the years since Bill Gates retired his position as CEO of MicroSoft Corporation, he and wife Melinda have devoted tremendous effort to battling malaria.  Malaria and the mosquitoes that transmit it is the single greatest killer of humans in the world, accounting for most of the 700,000+ mosquito-caused deaths annually.  But unlike many of the other major problems in the world, solutions to the malaria epidemic are available now. Continue reading

UKAg researcher to develop artificial blood for mosquitoes

A “nuisance” is probably one of the nicest things people call mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal on the planet, because of the diseases they spread. So why would researchers want to develop an artificial buffet for them?

The answer is simple. That “buffet” may lead to fewer mosquitoes. Stephen Dobson, a University of Kentucky professor of medical and veterinary entomology, believes his mosquito food can do just that. Others believe there’s promise too.

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Mosquito preferences for people is in the genes

In National Public Radio. (you can listen to the podcast also if you follow the link)

A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.

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UF/IFAS mosquito-feeding study may help stem dangerous viruses

Mosquitoes bite male birds nearly twice as often as they bite females, a finding that may help scientists understand how to stem some viruses from spreading to humans, new University of Florida research shows.

In findings published online today in Royal Society Open Science, UF entomology assistant professor Nathan Burkett-Cadena found mosquitoes bite male birds 64 percent of the time, compared to 36 percent for females.

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The world’s deadliest animal

Lions, tigers and bears have got nothing on this tiny creature that all of us see every summer in our backyards. Of all of the vicious creatures in the world, from the deadly lionfish to human beings, mosquitoes kill more people every year than any other creature. According to a writer at the Gates Notes, malaria alone kills 600,000 people a year. Another 125,000 are killed by other mosquito-transmitted viruses.

Click here to read the article.

Researchers find enzyme required for malaria parasite

According to an Entomology Today blog post, scientists have discovered a crucial metabolic enzyme that the malaria parasite requires at all levels of development. The finding could have implications in managing the parasite.

Read the post.

Breadfruit can be effective mosquito repellent, studies show

From USDA ARS

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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Department of Defense uses IPM research program to protect the military

In addition to facing danger through bullets and bombs, our military personnel must also battle insects that can transmit serious and often fatal diseases. Fortunately, the Department of Defense has a program that is working to control public health insect pests by developing and testing new pesticides and traps so that servicemen can be safe from diseases.

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Soldiers battle insects with treated uniforms

From the U.S. Army website

Whether in rugged mountainous terrain, low valleys, deserts, wetlands, wooded areas, or open fields, Soldiers spend a considerable amount of time outdoors. The Army wants them to know just how their uniforms are protecting them from insect-borne diseases.

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Malarial Mosquitoes Smell People Better at Night

Entomology Today

In work published this week in Nature: Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, led by Associate Professor Giles Duffield and Assistant Professor Zain Syed of the Department of Biological Sciences, revealed that the major malaria vector in Africa, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, is able to smell major human host odorants better at night.

Anopheles gambiae is the primary species that is responsible for the transmission of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, with approximately 300 million infections and 1 million deaths annually. The fact that these studies were conducted in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes has important implications for the development of novel insect control methods with the potential to reduce the transmission of malaria parasites and thus the morbidity and mortality associated with malaria disease. This work provides the first comprehensive evidence of the important role of daily rhythms in the…

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