Experts gather in Texas to discuss mosquito and tick issues

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With ticks posing an ongoing threat to Texas’ cattle industry and mosquitoes causing challenging human health diseases such as Zika virus, a consortium of public health experts met at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco to hear the latest research and offer potential solutions.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are leading a collaboration to solve threats from the pests as members of the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

Experts convene as part of Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases

by Blair Fannin, Texas A&M AgriLife

With ticks posing an ongoing threat to Texas’ cattle industry and mosquitoes causing challenging human health diseases such as Zika virus, a consortium of public health experts met at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Weslaco to hear the latest research and offer potential solutions.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston are leading a collaboration to solve threats from the pests as members of the Western Gulf Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

N.Y. Times reports increase in mosquito and tick-vectored infections

Farewell, carefree days of summer.

The number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Since 2004, at least nine such diseases have been discovered or newly introduced here.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not suggest that Americans drop plans for softball games or hammock snoozes. But officials emphasized that it’s increasingly important for everyone — especially children — to be protected from outdoor pests with bug repellent. Continue reading

Webinar: Integrated Mosquito Management in an Urban Environment

Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, this webinar will prepare you to—

  • Manage the changing landscape and tailor your mosquito management strategy based on your rural or urban environment.
  • Conduct proper surveillance of your environment to determine how to develop a comprehensive mosquito management plan.
  • Take into account a holistic approach to communication that incorporates public awareness and inter-agency information sharing.
  • Understand mosquito management approaches that include new technologies.

Continue reading

Classes at IPM House in 2018

Just a short note to let you know about upcoming training opportunities at the IPM Experience House. In case you haven’t heard about us, the IPM House is a hands-on training venue at the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Dallas.  We are offering some excellent opportunities for learning in 2018.

Registration is open for the next three classes, and dates are happening soon, so check them out: Continue reading

The cascade effect of invasive species: how one exotic species led to a disease risk in Florida

in the New York Times

Sometime in the 1980s, it became cool to own a pet reptile in Florida. Cooler still was owning one from far away, like from Madagascar, Egypt or Burma. The more exotic, the better. Thousands of cold-blooded creatures moved through Miami’s international airport to their new glass-box homes.

The Burmese python — which can be draped around a neck — was especially popular. A baby python is just 10 inches in length. Much to the surprise of some of their owners, those babies could grow up to 20 times that size. Continue reading

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