Preventative measures can help protect against mosquito bites

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Mosquitoes are appearing earlier than normal this year. University of Kentucky entomologists encourage Kentuckians to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites on themselves and their pets.

“Mosquitoes breed in standing water. The recent rains we have had, coupled with the upcoming warm weather, may help them get off to a strong start,” said Grayson Brown, entomologist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Continue reading

Texas A&M garners $10 million grant to establish center, fight vector-borne diseases

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife recently received a substantial monetary boost to bolster its aggressive fight to stem the spread of vector-borne diseases for the public good, said Dr. David Ragsdale, Texas A&M University entomology department head at College Station.

Ragsdale said the $10 million five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to establish the Western Gulf Coast Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. 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.

Texas mosquito populations booming in rainy spring

In Southwest Farm Press

Break out the calamine lotion, sharpen your fingernails, be prepared to itch. Heavy rainfall this spring has created an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed.

Better yet, do everything possible to avoid the pesky little biters that may do more than cause uncomfortable rashes and annoying itches. They can be deadly.

Continue reading

North Carolina officials keep watch on mosquito populations

In the StarNewsOnline

By

A horse in northern New Hanover County tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis last week. Confirmation from the state is still pending, but the horse is likely the third in eastern North Carolina to die from the disease this year.

Marie Hemmen, vector control manager with New Hanover County, said EEE is transmitted by a bog mosquito, the culiseta melanura. Two interns in Hemmen’s office used microscopes to classify the mosquitoes that had been trapped. A mosquito trap set up near the county’s flock of sentinel chickens in Castle Hayne showed a preponderance of melanura mosquitoes. Two chickens from the sentinel flock were infected last week.

Continue reading

West Nile outbreak cost Texas $47 million in medical care and lost productivity

From the Star-Telegram

The cost for acute medical care and lost productivity related to the Texas outbreak of West Nile virus in 2012 likely exceeded $47 million, according to a new study released Wednesday.

The state’s 1,886 cases demonstrated the need for ongoing mosquito surveillance and the necessity of developing an effective vaccine, said Dr. Kristy Murray, who led the research conducted by the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Continue reading