Posted on February 27, 2013 with No Comments
What should you use to fend of mosquitos? Did you know that there are recent concerns that some mosquitoes are growing resistant to mosquito sprays that contain DEET?
The widely used insect repellent Deet appears to be losing its effectiveness against mosquitoes, scientists say.
Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine say mosquitoes are first deterred by the substance, but then later ignore it.
For many years, it was not clear exactly how the chemical worked, but recent research suggests that insects simply do not like the smell.
To find out more, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took some A. aegypti mosquitoes in the laboratory, and tempted them with a human arm covered in Deet.
As expected, the repellent put the insects off their potential meal.
However, a few hours later when the same mosquitoes were offered a chance to dine again, the researchers found that the Deet was less effective.
To investigate why this might be happening, the researchers attached electrodes to the insects’ antenna.
Dr Logan explained: “We were able to record the response of the receptors on the antenna to Deet, and what we found was the mosquitoes were no longer as sensitive to the chemical, so they weren’t picking it up as well.
“There is something about being exposed to the chemical that first time that changes their olfactory system – changes their sense of smell – and their ability to smell Deet, which makes it less effective.”
The findings about mosquito’s are published in the journal Plos One.
Posted on September 26, 2012 with 1 Comment
A mosquito sample collected three decades ago in Israel’s Negev Desert has yielded an unexpected discovery: a previously unknown virus that’s closely related to some of the world’s most dangerous mosquito-borne pathogens but, curiously, incapable of infecting non-insect hosts.
Researchers believe this attribute could make the Eilat virus a uniquely useful tool for studying other alphaviruses, a genus of largely mosquito-borne pathogens that includes the viruses responsible for chikungunya, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis and eastern equine encephalitis. In addition, the researchers say, Eilat could also aid in the development of new alphavirus vaccines, therapies and diagnostic techniques.
“This virus is unique — it’s related to all of these mosquito-borne viruses that cause disease and cycle between mosquitoes and animals, and yet it is incapable of infecting vertebrate cells,” said University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston graduate student Farooq Nasar, lead author of a paper on the virus now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It’s a gift, really, because we can compare it to other alphaviruses and figure out the basis of their ability to infect a variety of animals, including humans.”
Read More @ Science Daily
Posted on September 13, 2012 with No Comments
The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) has reorganized its resources on controlling mosquitoes and preventing bites, the agency announced.
Though the summer is winding down, the EPA advises the public that mosquitoes can still present a serious risk to public health. The new resource directory includes prevention methods such as removal of standing water, tips to prevent bites and information about pesticides commonly used in mosquito control programs.
“The agency understands that Americans are concerns about recent increases in mosquito-borne diseases across the United States, especially the West Nile virus, and is committed to helping people understand how they can be more vigilant in protecting themselves from risks posed by mosquitoes,” the EPA said in a statement.
The directory can be accessed here.
Posted on July 23, 2012 with No Comments
Although your chances of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite are small, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten. Reduce the mosquito population around your home and property, reduce or eliminate all standing water:
- Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.
- Dispose of used tires, which are a significant mosquito-breeding site. Call your local landfill or Department of Public Works to find out how to dispose of used tires properly.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of outdoor recycling bins so they can drain freely.
- Clean clogged roof gutters and make sure they drain properly.
- Remove leaf debris from yards and gardens.
- Drain temporary pools of water or fill with dirt.
- Turn over wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
- Change the water in birdbaths twice weekly.
- Clean vegetation and debris from edges of ponds.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, hot tubs and other water features, such as fountains and garden ponds.
- Drain water from pool covers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
Posted on July 11, 2012 with No Comments
Mosquitoes are buzzing once again, and with that comes the threat of West Nile virus which often results in flu-like symptoms that aren’t life-threatening, and some in cases, infected people show no symptoms at all. But a significant percentage of patients develop serious neurological disease.
Tom Hobman, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, is making every effort to put an end to this potentially serious infection.
“Once we understand how West Nile virus affects the pathways that control the tight junctions of the blood-brain barrier, it may be possible to design drugs that prevent infection of the brain. I expect this will also be the case for related viruses that infect the central nervous system.”
Posted on May 29, 2012 with 1 Comment
Summer is around the corner and you can almost smell the burgers on the grill. You can also hear the faint buzzing sound of the deadliest, and most annoying, insect as it comes in for a landing. The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) reminds the public of the health risks associated with mosquitoes as they become active during the summer months.
Mosquitoes have been seen unusually early this year due to the country’s warm weather patterns and rainfall in recent months. In most parts of the country, mosquito populations usually stay at low levels until late April. This year is different due to the warmer temperatures forcing them out unusually early in search of hosts to feed on.
“The mild winter, combined with tropical storms last year will lead to a banner year for mosquitoes,” said Joseph Conlon, AMCA Technical Advisor. “The weather will have an impact both on the amount of mosquitoes and how soon they become a problem. The public needs to be prepared to meet the threat so that it doesn’t get out of hand.”
Conlon expressed the importance of public action. “We promote integrated, effective and sustainable mosquito control as the key to enhancing the public’s quality of life.”
He shared how the general public can adopt safe mosquito control following “the 3 D’s”:
• Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
• Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
• Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus
“Don’t forget that your rain gutters, tree holes, old buckets or tires-all make excellent spots for mosquitoes to lay their eggs,” says Conlon. “Encouraging your neighbors to eliminate sources on their own property is critical to a community-wide control program. Mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. If their water source is eliminated, so is their offspring. ”
There are over 170 species of mosquitoes from North America, with several species having been accidentally introduced from other parts of the world. One female can lay 100-300 eggs at a time, averaging 1,000-3,000 offspring in their lifetime. The average female mosquito can live anywhere from 3-100 days feeding on blood several times during that period. Male mosquitoes live 10 to 20 days, feeding only on plant nectar.
Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue fever, continue infecting and killing millions every year. In the United States, mosquitoes spread several types of encephalitis, a swelling of the brain, in addition to transmitting heart worm to common household pets.
Source: PCT Magazine
Posted on June 10, 2009 with 1 Comment
It’s sad to say, but times are tough. More and more Americans are loosing their homes due to foreclosure on a daily basis. These homes can be left abandon and untouched for months until a prospective buyer comes along.
How do mosquitoes come into play?
In many backyards, there are pools, and other small decorative structures such as bird baths. Old rubber tires can also hold water. Leave these unattended for a few months, and you have a serious problem. The weather is getting warm now, and these are the most ideal locations for mosquitoes to breed.
Why cant they just drain the pool?
Sure someone could go and drain the pool. What happens when leaves cover the bottom of the pool, and heavy rain comes in? This creates an area of sitting water. It would leave us back where we started.
Mosquitoes love sitting water. Pools that are left unattended will grow algae, and mosquitoes will lay hundreds of eggs, reproducing at a rapid rate, causing the mosquito population to increase. This can be a real pain for neighbors nearby, especially with children and pets.
How can I prevent this from happening in my neighbor’s yard?
If you are a neighbor, or someone affected by the state of the foreclosed home, you must call your local government. The government will work with the banks to ensure the problem is taken care of. Pest control companies in the southeast region of the county have been using mosquito eating fish in abandon pools. The fish are one of the best options because they reproduce at a speedy rate. With a dozen or so mosquito eating fish placed in an abandon pool, it can take care of the problem, and keep the mosquitoes away. This means that local governments will not have to worry about high costs of these foreclosed homes’ pools. So your best option is to call your town, make them aware of the problem, and they most likely will be speaking to the bank regarding the issue.
What can I do at my home to ensure a mosquito free area?
People who currently have homes can prevent mosquitoes around their home using several Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. As mentioned before, bird baths and old rubber tires are ideal areas for mosquitoes. Rubber tires should be removed from yards, and disposed of properly. Any still water should be removed from the landscape. You inspect your roof every once in a while to ensure your gutters are clear from debris such as leaves and tree branches. If your lawn has an irrigation system, ensure that it is working properly to make sure that there is no over watering of areas to create excessive water conditions.