Grayson Brown, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky and Past President of the Entomological Society of America, is testing the biting rate of mosquitoes in residential backyards in Lexington, KY, and is also monitoring the effectiveness of mosquito control products.
Due to a very wet summer and an early spring, the mosquito biting rate has been high this year — about 6-7 bites per minute — especially in older neighborhoods.
About 90-95 percent of the bites have come from the Asian tiger mosquito, an invasive species that is believed to have been brought to the U.S. in used tire shipments in the 1980s. The Asian tiger is known to transmit dengue fever and other diseases.
“Some Asian tiger mosquitoes have tested positive in the United States for other viruses, but it’s not a principal vector for human disease right now in the U.S. But it sure is a possible threat as cases of dengue fever have been reported in South Florida,” Brown said.
Brown, who has conducted this study for several years, and his colleagues are also testing various control products, including chemicals and traps. Brown has found that they are able to control about 90 percent of the mosquito population for four-to-six-week periods.
The following video explains the study: