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  • Writer's pictureChelle Hartzer

Have You Heard the Buzz? (AKA: What's biting me)

It’s Mosquito Awareness Week. Feel free to send your mosquito related gifts to me. Until they get here, here’s your gift from me: new research on these biting beasties.


Summer is coming. And so could new mosquito species. An Asian species very similar to the Asian bush mosquito is primed to come to the US. It is already spread to Europe and some researchers suspect it may already be here but is being misidentified as the Asian bush mosquito.

 

We’ve got some good mosquito repellents and treatments and can always use more. It’s especially important because many species are resistant to one or more of our commonly used active ingredients. Essential oils continue to be tested and while many of them can cause death, they still aren’t as good as what we currently have. On top of that, some essential oil derivatives and blends work differently on different species.

We can learn about mosquitoes in some pretty interesting ways. Including going to zoos. This cool study captured over 9,000 mosquitoes. They found over 27 species and they were carrying West Nile virus, St. Loius encephalitis, and Flanders virus. (I had to look that one up!). It makes sense that mosquitoes are at a zoo, not only are there animals and plenty of people to bite, but what was interesting is that when they did DNA testing, only 8 matched species in the zoo. The rest were from wild birds. That means we should be very concerned about birds and their impact on us.


They are what they eat. Given different nutrient diets, yellow fever mosquitoes can grow faster and have better survival. Keeping our water sources clean, not overfertilizing lawns, and picking up after pets can all contribute to fewer mosquitoes. Since scientists are also using sterile insect techniques to target disease carrying mosquitoes, this can also lead to better rearing techniques.

 

You think you are attractive to mosquitoes? How about a mosquito bait then! Both males and females will take nectar meals for energy. A new study looked at a sugar substitute and if it would affect mosquito mortality. Good news, it knocked down adults. Now they have to figure out how to effectively deploy it and see if it is as effective in field conditions.


Share the morning coffee with mosquitoes. Yes, something on the internet was true. Sort of. Wet, spent coffee grounds, with the addition of an IGR produced larval mortality. There had to be a lot of coffee grounds for it to reach a high level of mortality. And it took 10 days. So don’t go flooding all your water sources with coffee grounds.

 

That’s just the first ten pages of paper searches from the past two years. The point is, research continues and we can use that to fight mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. You don’t have to sift through 10 pages of search results on scientific papers, we do that for you so you have the best info. Contact us.



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