Tag Archives: Florida Mosquito Exterminator

Don’t forget to declare your…Insects?

A man crossing into the United States from Mexico forgot to declare his bugs as food at the port of entry. The unidentified driver told agents he forgot to declare the bags as food items. He was given a $175 fine and the insects were seized. Agents sent the bugs to the U.S.  Department of Agriculture where they were identified as a type of stink bug. Pests must be reported when brought into the country because they feed on plants, CBP officials said in a release.

Moral of the story is don’t forget to report pests when crossing the border since they feed on plants!

Checkout the full story

Flowers wilt. Candlelight fades. Roaches are forever.

Flowers wilt. Candlelight fades. Roaches are forever.

Can’t decide on what to get that special someone for Valentine’s Day? Sometimes the answer is all around us, and right where it’s been for millions of years—like cockroaches! How better to express your appreciation for that special someone than to name one of the Bronx Zoo’s 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroach after them? Best of all, when you purchase this everlasting gift, you’ll help support the Wildlife Conservation Society and its five parks in New York City.

http://www.bronxzoo.com/roach/

How Hungry Mosquitoes Cool Themselves

NYTimes.com: How Hungry Mosquitoes Cool Themselves

Most blood-sucking insects urinate while they feed so they can avoid filling up on fluid and get more nutrients out of their meal.

But some species of mosquito also do what is called preurination – they excrete drops of freshly ingested blood without extracting any of the nourishing blood cells.

The behavior has always confused scientists because “blood is a very precious resource,” said Claudio R. Lazzari, an entomologist at François Rabelais University in Tours, France. “The risk of taking it is very high.”

New research, conducted by Dr. Lazzari and colleagues and published in the journal Current Biology, shows that the preurine may serve to keep the cold-blooded mosquitoes from overheating while they take their blood meal, which can be as warm as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the host animal.

Roughly one to two minutes after she starts feeding, an Anopheles stephensi mosquito will excrete urine and preurine through the anus, at the end of the abdomen. Sometimes a drop of the fluid will form and cling to the body before falling off; when this happens, some fluid evaporates like sweat and cools the mosquito’s abdomen by almost four degrees.

Mosquitoes also feed on nectar, but they tend not to preurinate when they eat lower-temperature, sugar-based meals.

The mosquito is not the only insect that uses ingested food to regulate its temperature. Aphids excrete honeydew to prevent their abdomens from getting too hot, and some bee species regurgitate a bit of nectar to keep their heads cool while they fly.

Mosquito Bred to Fight Dengue Fever Shows Promise in Study

Mosquito Bred to Fight Dengue Fever Shows Promise in Study

By Reg Gale

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) — Scientists, attempting to halt Dengue fever, for the first time released mosquitoes into the wild that had been genetically modified to pass on deadly DNA that kills their offspring.

About 19,000 lab-altered

insects were released into 25 acres on Grand Cayman Island in 2009, according to a study, published yesterday in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Later tests showed they made up about 16 percent of the mosquito population and that the fatal gene was carried by about 10 percent of larvae. Scientists estimated the modified insects — all males — were about half as successful in mating as normal.

There are as many as 100 million cases of Dengue reported each year worldwide, making it one of the most medically significant viruses carried by mosquitoes, the report said. There’s no vaccine, boosting the need to limit the insects that carry it, the researchers said. The experiment, by scientists from closely held Oxitec Ltd., a biotechnology company based in Oxford, England, has spurred concern that there may be unintended environmental consequences.

“These data also allow us tentatively to estimate how many mosquitoes might need to be released in this area to suppress the target population,” the researchers said.

The use of genetically enhanced mosquitoes was discussed in a series of articles in the magazine Scientific American this month. In those articles, Helen Wallace, the director of GeneWatch UK, said she was concerned that the new form of insect would become part of a complex system involving predators and prey that scientists have no control over.

2010 Report

She cited a 2010 report by the European Food Safety Authority that raised the potential for illnesses to evolve into more dangerous forms and for other insects to move into the ecological niche created by the absence of mosquitoes.

In the report, the scientists said the percentage of successful couplings by the altered mosquitoes may have been limited because they didn’t fit easily into the insect social system, the physical effects of handling and distributing them or negative effects of the genetic changes on their performance.

Dengue fever, most common in the tropics, causes high fever, headache and rash, along with severe joint and muscle pain.

Oxitec developed the technology, which the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, backed by the Cayman Islands government, implemented for the study, Oxitec Chief Executive Officer Hadyn Parry said in an interview.

–With assistance from Makiko Kitamura in London. Editors: Chris Staiti, Bruce Rule

To contact the reporter on this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net.

Animals: Flying Insects Captured in 3D

“Flydra,” a new multi-camera, real-time, three-dimensional method of recording multiple flying animals, shows the minutest details of airborne insects. Click link at right to get the whole story. This movie shows various 2-D cameras tracking…

Spermless Mosquitoes Could Help Halt Malaria Spread

Spermless Mosquitoes Could Help Halt Malaria Spread

Published August 09, 2011| Reuters

Releasing genetically modified, spermless male mosquitoes into the wild could in future help to prevent malaria transmission and reduce the chances of large outbreaks of the killer disease, British scientists said on Monday.

Researchers from Imperial College London sterilized male mosquitoes by genetically modifying them to neutralize a gene required for sperm production.

In a study to see how these mosquitoes would fare when trying to get a mate, they found that female mosquitoes cannot tell if the males they mate with are fertile, or spermless and therefore unable to fertilize the females’ eggs.

The researchers said findings suggest that in future it might be possible to control the size of the malaria-carrying mosquito population by introducing a genetic change that makes males sterile. Female mosquitoes would then unknowingly mate with the modified males and fail to produce any offspring.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that affects up to 300 million people and kills nearly 800,000 every year. Its threat is greatest in Africa, where the World Health Organization says a child dies of malaria about every 45 seconds.

Public health experts are working toward the eventual global eradication of malaria, but progress is slow and there is a constant need for better and cheaper ways to get there.

“In the fight against malaria, many hope that the ability to genetically control the mosquito vector will one day be a key part of our armory,” said Flaminia Catteruccia from Imperial’s life sciences department, who led the study.

But she added that for these currently theoretical control ideas to work in practice, scientists have to establish whether the insects would continue to mate as normal, unaware that their sexual mechanisms had been tampered with.

After mating for the first and only time in her life, the female mosquito goes through certain physiological changes, then eats a meal of blood, and lays a batch of eggs.

In this research, Catteruccia’s team found that this behavior pattern was the same whether or not the mating had produced fertilized eggs that could hatch into mosquito larvae.

Using Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, the species primarily responsible for malaria spread in Africa, the team created spermless males by injecting ordinary mosquito eggs with a protein that disrupts the development of their testes and prevents them from producing sperm as adults.

Crucially, this did not interfere with any other sexual function or behavior in either the female or the male, they explained in their study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists said they were also encouraged to find that after mating with a spermless male, the female made no attempt to find another mate, and so effectively missed out on the opportunity to reproduce and pass on her genes.

This was contrary to what they had expected based on studies of other species such as fruit flies, where females tend to mate with more than one male to ensure their eggs are fertilized.

Another group of British scientists said last year they had created genetically sterile Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which early field trials suggested could be used to halt the rapid spread of another infectious disease, dengue fever.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/09/spermless-mosquitoes-could-help-halt-malaria-spread/#ixzz1UdH8R500

Mosquitoes increase disease risk in USA – USATODAY.com

Mosquitoes increase disease risk in USA – USATODAY.com.

Appearance:

Mosquitoes bite with their mouth parts and have scales on the back of their wings.

Size:

Approximately ½-inch long.

Behavior:

Mosquitoes have caused countless problems for man throughout history. The mosquito feeds on human blood in order to provide nutrients to make eggs. It can leave behind serious health threats such as viruses and other disease-causing pathogens.

Habitat:

Mosquitoes rely on standing water to breed. Mosquitoes that attack people in their own yard are usually breeding close by. Many mosquitoes found around homes are known as “tree hole” mosquitoes. This species does not breed in a natural body of water; rather the female seeks out accumulated water in hollows of trees and such.

Interesting Fact:

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as encephalitis and West Nile Virus, cause many deaths in developing countries.

Control:

Do you live in Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home or yard? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

Florida budget cuts, mosquito burst create itchy issue ~ REUTERS

Florida budget cuts, mosquito burst create itchy issue

By Amy Wimmer Schwarb

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla | Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:48pm EDT

(Reuters) – James David’s job of controlling mosquitoes in a part of Florida that Spanish explorers once dubbed “Los Mosquitos” is often futile.

But this year, the fight “feels like a sort of hand-to-hand combat,” said David, the mosquito control and coastal services director for St. Lucie County in southeast Florida.

In the past two years, David’s local government has cut 42 percent of mosquito control funding and a quarter of his staff. This year, the state slashed its contribution to local mosquito control by half.

Just weeks ago, with a line-item veto, Republican Governor Rick Scott closed a university mosquito lab that David had relied on for pesticide research.

All this comes as most local mosquito control officials agree the mosquito situation is the worst they have seen since 1998, when El Nino caused rampant rains and the pesky insects that come with them, said Shelly Redovan, executive director of the Florida Mosquito Control Association.

“It’s a bad mosquito year,” Redovan said. “And when you’ve also got reduced funding, it’s going to be tough.”

Florida’s depressed property values and high foreclosure rates have left the state with fewer tax dollars to spend, and nearly every facet of public life has been touched as lawmakers try to pay the state’s bills.

Yet effective management of mosquitoes has been so closely linked to the state’s prosperity that mosquito control officials fear they are victims of their own success.

“We should never, ever forget from where we’ve come,” said Angela Weeks-Samanie, an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which administers the state mosquito control funds.

“In the blink of an eye, we could go back to where we were when Florida was uninhabitable.”

SLEEPING ON THE BEACH

Mosquitoes have been part of the state’s recorded history since the arrival of the first European settlers. The Spanish, French and English all recounted tales of sleeping on the beach, covered in sand, to escape them.

When Florida was being considered for statehood, U.S. congressmen debated whether mosquitoes would prevent it from ever being a suitable place to live.

Mosquito-spread Yellow Fever broke out in the 1870s and 1880s in pockets throughout Florida — including Jacksonville, Tampa, Key West and the Panhandle — and led to the formation of the State Board of Health in 1889.

More recently, the insects have been common perpetrators in disease outbreaks, such as in the early 2000s, when West Nile virus was spreading in Florida, and in 2010, with dengue fever in the Florida Keys.

This year, the mosquitoes seem to be hitting coastal areas hardest. Lee County, which includes Fort Myers in southwest Florida, set a record in May for the number of mosquito complaints.

One day that month, the county received 457 calls from citizens.

Meanwhile, the Orlando area farther inland is seeing mosquito numbers that are similar to last year’s.

The most likely reason: This year’s troublemakers appear to be floodwater mosquitoes, which thrive in different conditions than the species that lay eggs in standing water.

“Floodwater mosquitoes lay their eggs above the high-tide line, where it’s dry,” said Roxanne Connelly, president of the state Mosquito Control Association and an associate professor of entomology at the University of Florida.

Several months of dry conditions followed by heavy rainfall created ideal conditions for this species, she said.

“Then, sometime later, when you get a high tide or some other influence, they all hatch at the same time,” she said. “They become adults at the same time. And they’re all looking for blood at the same time.”

In one three-acre salt marsh in St. Lucie County, David found mosquito larvae packed so tightly that 1 million were squeezed into an area the size of a pickup truck bed.

Spraying with heavy equipment was ineffective because winds were strong. The pesticide he chose didn’t work, so he changed chemicals twice.

“We were sending out hand crews over and over again at dusk and dawn, trying to spray by hand,” David said. “We’d treat it; it would look like we got a great knockdown. And then, three hours later, it would be just as bad it was before.”

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Bohan)

Florida Mosquito Control