mosquito control

Bloodshot Eyes, Red Rashes: What Zika Virus Infection Looks Like

From NBC Chicago

The latest mosquito-borne virus scare is growing, here in the U.S., and spreading as expected.  It seems like every year that a new virus hits our shores from some far away tropical locale, and wreaks havoc on our psyche.  Zika virus, which could be responsible for horrific birth defects and deformities in pregnant women, is just starting to terrorize our population.  While it is not fatal in the majority of cases, it is still prudent to be aware of the signs of infection.  This post from NBC Chicago gives a basic guide to the symptoms of the Zika Virus infection, which will help those unfortunate ones who have contracted the virus to act quickly and appropriately to treat the symtoms.

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The Best Way to Control Mosquitoes
Integrated Mosquito Management Explained

From The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture

There is no denying that mosquitoes present a ubiquitous and serious threat to the health of human beings.  The fact that mosquitoes require blood to perpetuate their species, while at the same time exposing humans to serious and potentially life-threatening diseases makes us at war with these pests.  While the perfect control for mosquitoes doesn't exist, according to this post from the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, it would ideally include immediate protection from mosquito bites and the associated diseases while being simple, inexpensive, and environmentally safe.  Communities and individuals can approach this ideal, however, by utilizing an integrated approach which includes community management, adult control, and larval control.

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Recent headlines may boost demand for mosquito control 

From Total Landscape

You've probably noticed the evening news discussions about Zika, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, even Malaria.  These diseases are all transmitted by mosquitoes, and are present in the United States.  Whether you're paying attention or not, mosquitoes will be here in abundance this summer, and scores of them will be carrying these harmful diseases.  This post from Total Landscape discusses the different services that are available to combat this scourge, and talks about means and methods.  It's getting harder and harder to ignore the mosquito problem, so will you use this news to act?

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Puerto Rico Reports 1st Zika Death in US

From NBC Chicago

Puerto Rico, which is currently dealing with more than 700 cases of the Zika virus at present, reported it's first death as a result of the virus last week.   While death from Zika is rare, it is not unprecedented, according to this post from NBC Chicago.  Deaths caused by the virus have been reported in the South American country of Colombia in the past.  There have been numerous reports as to the real penetration of Zika in the United States, causing much controversy among people that either deny it's existence or try to downplay the epidemic.  This post goes on to report that there are officially 426 cases of Zika that have been reported in the U.S., including 89 pregnant women in Puerto Rico and 9 cases in Illinois.

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Hybrid forms of the common house mosquito may serve as vectors between birds, humans

From Science Daily

Scientists have long suspected that mosquitoes that feed on both humans and birds are responsible for allowing diseases common only to birds to be transferred to humans.  The issue was that typically mosquitoes have a blood preference for either humans or mosquitoes, but not both.  Some common house mosquitoes in Austria are proving this theory incorrect, however, as researchers there have sampled 1,500 house mosquitoes and found that a hybrid mosquito exists, and may be responsible for disease transmission across species.

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Texas A&M researchers find new way to dodge mosquito bites

From Chron

Have you ever noticed that while spending time outside with a group of seemingly similar people, that one or a couple of the people are consistently devoured by mosquitoes, and the others aren't?  This is not uncommon, according to this post from Chron.  Researchers at Texas A&M are looking for new ways to outsmart the mosquitoes and help these people that are tasty to them.  Using space age science to disrupt communication among bacterial cells, these researchers may be at the forefront of the fight against mosquito borne diseases like Malaria, Chikungunya and Zika.

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It's no secret that mosquitoes like some people more than others.
New research at Texas A&M University helps explain why the pests are choosy about where they dine, and may lead to greater protection from them.
Led by A&M entomologist Jeff Tomberlin, a group of scientists is looking at ways to outsmart mosquitoes by manipulating a communication system the insects use.
Tomberlin and the team, which includes A&M entomologist Craig Coates and former A&M graduate student Xinyang Zhang, have discovered that they can disrupt mosquito attraction to someone's blood by interrupting communication among bacterial cells, according to an A&M news release.
Mosquitos have evolved receptors on their antennae to "listen in" to communication among microbes on our skin, the release said.

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Coming to America: The story of chikungunya


It seems that every year in the U.S., an new mosquito borne virus appears.  Malaria was traditionally the disease that was most feared by Americans that was mosquito vector transmittable, then West Nile Virus appeared.  Last year, Chikungunya was the virus most on the tip of every American's tongue.  This post from tells the story of how a tropical virus can make its way to the U.S. shores, and spread like wildfire.  This is a cautionary tale, as the Zika virus seems to be this year's version of the latest and greatest mosquito borne illness to hit our shores.

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This Low-Tech Trap For Killing Mosquito Eggs Is Brilliant

From Gizmodo

Mosquitoes have no problem finding moist, warm places to breed on their own.  It would stand to reason that in order to trap the mosquitoes in the act, or to trap their eggs for disposal, then one would want to accurately recreate the places to which the mosquitoes are usually attracted.  This post from Gizmodo tells the story of the Ovillanta, which was developed by researchers in Mexico.  This trap, which is constructed from discarded rubber car tires, gives the mosquito the calming assurance that they are breeding in a familar ground.  Unfortunately for the mosqutio, these traps can destroy nearly 220 eggs per month on each trap.  This may not sound like alot, but it is 7x more efficient than traditional traps.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

Mosquitoes love to breed inside discarded car tires. So why not use this against them? Such is the thinking of Canadian researchers who have developed a DIY mosquito trap that's already proving its worth in field tests.

The trap is called Ovillanta, and it was developed by researchers from Laurentian University with help from Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health (plus a little money from the Canadian government).

The egg trap is constructed from two 20-inch (50 cm) sections of discarded rubber car tires. The bits of tire are fashioned into a mouth-like shape, and a fluid release is added to the bottom.Once it's ready and hung on a wall or tree, a non-toxic solution is added. A chemical pheromone is added to attract the mosquitoes. A wooden strip or paper floats in the artificial pond, where the female lays her eggs.

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