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

EPA Reopens Public Comment Period on Application for Experimental Use Permit to Combat Mosquitoes

In response to requests from stakeholders, the Environmental Protection Agency is reopening the public comment period regarding an application from Oxitec Ltd. for an experimental use permit (EUP) for genetically engineered OX513A Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

EPA first announced the availability of Oxitec’s application for an experimental use permit on March 9, 2018, in the Federal Register. Following review of the application, data and public comments, EPA will decide whether to issue or deny the EUP request and, if issued, the conditions under which the study is to be conducted. 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

Become a CDC Science Ambassador Fellow

Apply by January 15!  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recruiting teachers and education leaders to bring public health into classrooms across the United States and beyond. Selected fellows tour CDC’s state-of-the-art facilities and collaborate with CDC scientists to design innovative lessons, and to learn curriculum design and teaching strategies that engage students in math and science using today’s emerging public health topics (e.g. Opioid epidemic, Ebola virus, Hurricane preparedness, Zika virus, Teen violence, Obesity, and more). Continue reading

EPA Requests Comment on the Proposed Registration of New Biopesticide to Help Control Spread of Zika and Other Viruses

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to register ZAP Males®, a new microbial biopesticide that reduces local populations of Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquitoes, which have the ability to spread numerous diseases of significant human health concern, including the Zika virus.

The registration would allow MosquitoMate, Inc. to sell the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes (ZAP Males®) in the District of Columbia (DC) and the following states: California (CA), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Kentucky (KY), Massachusetts (MA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Missouri (MO), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), Nevada (NV), New York (NY), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), Tennessee (TN), Vermont (VT), and West Virginia (WV). Male mosquitoes do not bite people.   Continue reading

Texas flooded with mosquitoes now that Harvey is over

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Among the inevitable fallout stemming from the ocean of water dumped on South Texas by Hurricane Harvey will be a hoard of bloodsucking mosquitoes, but  state-level entomologists predict the first onslaught won’t be the disease vectors many fear.

“For the past several years we’ve been educating people about disease-transmitting mosquitoes, but we are about to witness a huge emergence of other kinds of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Charles Allen, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist and Texas A&M University department of entomology associate department head at San Angelo. “Due to the big rain event associated with Hurricane Harvey, in a few short days and over the next few weeks we’ll be expecting a large outbreak of what are called floodwater mosquitoes.” Continue reading

The IPM Toolbox fall webinar series

Got an IPM question? Need to know the latest IPM information? The Northeastern IPM Center has the answers with their Fall webinar series “The IPM Toolbox.” Experts will be online for an hour of dialogue about an effective IPM practice, method, or effort.

They have three webinars scheduled next month… Continue reading