Tag Archives: Mosquito removal

Mosquito Q & A

 

Is West Nile Virus something that the average American should be concerned about?

West Nile Virus continues to be a concern among Americans—and rightfully so. A recent consumer survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) points to mosquitoes as the number one concern in summer for homeowners nationwide.

West Nile Virus has spread across the country from Pennsylvania to Washington State since the first reported incidence in 1999. Since then, there have been a total of 19,710 reported cases, 785 of which were fatal. (Cite the CDC surveillance website totals). [[Figures from CDC West Nile Virus surveillance website totals from 1999-2006]]. In 2008, there were 1356 cases reported to the CDC.

If so, are there certain populations who are most at risk?

West Nile Virus effects populations nationwide.

What are some precautions that can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites in infants and toddlers?

There are a number of precautions parents can take to protect their home and family from mosquitoes. NPMA recommends a three-pronged approach: eliminate their food, shelter, and water. Here are some tips:

  • Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites by replacing all standing water at least once a week. This includes birdbaths, ponds and swimming pools.
  • Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any standing water sources that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
  • Introduce mosquito-eating fish such as gambusia, green sunfish, bluegills and minnows to standing water.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings with mesh.
    • Use mesh that is 18X18 strands per inch, or finer.
    • Seal around all screen edges; and keep doors and windows shut to prevent entry of most mosquito species.
  • Avoid going outdoors when and where mosquitoes are most active: during dusk or dawn.
  • Use repellent on exposed skin whenever and wherever mosquitoes are likely to bite. Check product labels for information on age restrictions to make sure they are safe for your toddler or infant.
  • According to the CDC, the most effective repellents currently available contain the active ingredient N, N-diethylbenzamide (DEET), in concentrations up to about 35% (greater concentrations don’t offer better protections). Again, check the product label for safety information regarding small children.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, preferably treated with a repellent as well.

Consider contacting a pest control professional.  They can help reduce exposure to mosquitoes and decrease the risks for mosquito-borne illnesses by inspecting properties for mosquito breeding sites, treating to control mosquitoes, and by suggesting corrective actions, providing basic information, current news and references to other sources.

Contact your municipality or township to see if your community has a mosquito management program in place. Only a concerted community-wide effort can properly manage these pests and reduce the risks associated with them.

I’ve heard mosquitoes described as the most dangerous animals on earth because a high volume of fatalities can be attributed to mosquitoes. Do you feel this is accurate? Why or why not?

Mosquitoes are dangerous insects since they are known to transmit many potentially fatal diseases to both humans and mammals, such as horses.  Some of the most common and well-known diseases include West Nile Virus, malaria, dengue fever and equine encephalitis.  In Africa, over 700,000 children die each year from malaria.

Have the reported cases of West Nile Virus increased during recent years?

The reported incidences of West Nile Virus have generally increased over the years, with the most significant spike in 2003 with over 9,000 reported cases according to the CDC.

What is the forecast for mosquito-borne illness in the future?

Unfortunately we do not have a crystal ball to predict future outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses or other pest-related illnesses.  What we do know is that mosquitoes have been on this planet for millions of years and will continue to thrive.

Will we see an increase in the numbers of people infected by mosquito bites?

We really have no way to predict infection by mosquito bites.

A Virus May Make Mosquitoes Even Thirstier for Human Blood

A Virus May Make Mosquitoes Even Thirstier for Human Blood

Florida Pet Control

By

The dengue virus may actually make mosquitoes thirstier for human blood, new research has found.

In a study published last week in PLoS Pathogens, mosquito experts at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the dengue virus altered the production of proteins made by 147 different genes.

Some changes appeared to make the antennae more sensitive to odors — making them better at hunting humans, the virus’s only known mammalian host. Other changes in salivary gland genes appeared to make it easier for the virus to get into a mosquito’s saliva, ready for injection.

Those tests were done on a genome microarray — snippets of the DNA of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes coating a glass slide. But when the researchers tried to replicate the results in live mosquitoes, they could not prove they were hungrier.

“Since we can’t infect humans for our experiments, we think it’s a problem with the model,” said George Dimopoulos, lead author of the new study.

In his laboratory model, mosquitoes had to drink infected blood from a balloonlike membrane and then were offered mice to bite.

“Mosquitoes will feed on other animals if they get hungry, but it isn’t their favorite dish,” Dr. Dimopoulos said.

Up to 100 million people are infected with dengue each year; it is known as “breakbone fever” for the joint pain it causes. Up to 15,000 die of it annually, most of them children, according to the World Health Organization. There is no vaccine or cure.

Dengue Fever Cases Subside In Florida, But Threats Remain

USNews.com: Dengue Fever Cases Subside In Florida, But Threats Remain

(HealthDay News) – While the alarming re-emergence in 2009 and 2010 of mosquito-borne dengue fever in the continental United States seems to have subsided, that’s no reason to believe the potentially deadly infection won’t be back, experts warn.

The outbreak of the sometimes-excruciating viral illness centered on southern Florida. Now, researchers have issued an update on the situation for one locale in particular, Key West.

“We know now that Key West is a high-risk area for dengue and we could have ongoing dengue outbreaks again,” said the report’s lead author, Carina Blackmore, from the Florida Department of Health. However, if people use air conditioners and screens and stay inside during hot, muggy days there is little chance dengue will become endemic, she said.

Dengue remains a leading cause of illness and death in tropical areas but was largely thought to be absent from the United States since the 1950s.

However, in 2009, 27 people living in Key West came down with illness via locally acquired infections, and then 66 more residents contracted the illness in 2010, the researchers report. The outbreak seems to have eased since then, with no cases reported in 2011.

That doesn’t mean that dengue is eliminated from the population, however, because around 75 percent of people infected never develop symptoms. Blackmore and her colleagues estimate, therefore, that about 5 percent of people living in Key West neighborhoods where cases occurred could be infected.

Because Key West has a large population of the type of mosquitoes that transmit dengue, called the “house mosquito,” Blackmore’s team decided to investigate the size of the outbreak there. They identified a number of cases and found that people who got dengue were less likely to use air conditioning, and they often had birdbaths or other types of containers where the mosquitoes could breed.

Blackmore noted that dengue is not transmitted person to person, but from humans to mosquitoes and then back to humans again. However, trying to eradicate house mosquitoes has never been successful, she said, because of where they tend to propagate. “House mosquitoes are lazy mosquitoes — they breed in [even] very small containers,” she said.

The report appears in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, which is published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Hal Margolis, chief of the CDC’s dengue branch, said that most dengue that appears in the United States is still brought back by people who have traveled to areas in the world where the diseases is endemic. “There are thousands of people who come back with dengue. That’s really the biggest problem,” he said.

There are also sporadic outbreaks along the Texas/Mexican border, Margolis said. In addition, dengue is endemic in some areas of the United States such as Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Asian possessions such as Guam and American Samoa, he said.

The Key West outbreak was unusual in that it lasted for two seasons, Margolis said. “Frankly, we don’t know if it is still there,” he added. “How it got introduced, we don’t know.”

Dengue could still become endemic in Florida, Margolis said. “We won’t know for several seasons. Only time will tell us; it’s really had to predict,” he said.

The disease can cause a high fever and people can feel sicker than they have ever felt before, Margolis said. “The danger comes in those people who get severe dengue; that usually happens with a second or third infection,” he said. “Twenty-five percent of people who have first infections may go on to have severe dengue.”

In severe dengue, plasma leaks out of the blood vessels, ending up around the lungs and abdomen, and sufferers can develop shock, Margolis said. About 15 percent of people have these severe signs, he said. About 1 percent may die, he added.

The biggest hope for prevention lies with a vaccine, Margolis said.

“There is a lot of effort on dengue vaccines going on, but it’s going to be another three or four years before a vaccine is approved,” he said. There are vaccines currently in clinical trials, he added.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University in New York City, agreed with the experts’ warnings. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see more cases,” he said.

Trying to control the mosquitoes to curb infections has not proven to be all that effective, he said. People who have air conditioning or screened windows may be at lower risk, since a closed house keeps the flying insects at bay.

The problem is that the mosquitoes in Key West are now carrying the disease, which makes it more likely that there will be more outbreaks, Siegel said.

More information

For more information on dengue, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida Mosquito Control ~ Just Call Hulett!

SW Fla. fighting mosquitoes, thanks to rainy Oct

The Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A rainy October has mosquito control officers buzzing in southwest Florida.

Officials say they are experiencing the worst mosquito season in two decades, thanks to weather patterns that created the ‘perfect storm’ for the pesky insects.

Lee County Mosquito Control District spokeswoman Shelly Redovan says the region began the year under a drought. That provided salt marsh mosquitoes a greater area to lay their eggs. The rainy season resulted in lots of standing water, which compounds the mosquito problem. The result? Officials say they’re still seeing thousands of mosquitos nightly.

The Fort Myers News-Press ( http://newspr.es/rRRcmS) reports the district is using airplanes, helicopters and trucks to spray.

The newspaper reports that southwest Florida received 10.40 inches of rain in October. That’s 6.94 inches above the normal rainfall for the month.
Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/11/02/2483338/sw-fla-fighting-mosquitoes-thanks.html#ixzz1cb2DYIUo

A CLOSER LOOK: Mosquitoes

(Diptera: Culicidae)

Appearance:

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

Size:

Approximately ½-inch long.

Behavior:

Mosquitoes have caused countless problems for man throughout history. In order to lay eggs, a female mosquito must feed on the blood of a human or animal. It can leave behind serious health threats such as viruses and other disease-causing pathogens.

Habitat:

Mosquitoes require as little as 2 inches of standing water to successfully breed. Mosquitoes that attack people in their own yard are usually breeding close by. Other mosquitoes, such as container breeders, do not seek out a natural body of water, but rather lay eggs in any container that is holding water (bird bath, tire, bucket, etc…). Tree hole mosquitoes, for example, lay their eggs in standing water that has accumulated inside of the hollows within trees.

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!

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