Products claiming to reduce mosquito populations with salt-water solutions are ineffective, according to a new study. In a series of lab tests using nine mosquito species, a team of expert mosquito researchers found no evidence that adult mosquitoes are killed by salt ingested at concentrations used in several popular mosquito-control products. The findings are reported in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Grayson Brown, Ph.D., executive director of the Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit and a past president of the Entomological Society of America, reports that conditions in Puerto Rico are ripe for a potential dengue outbreak, as recent earthquakes have driven residents out of their homes, increasing their exposure to mosquitoes. The PRVCU is working with ESA and other organizations to quickly procure approximately 5,000 bed nets to help protect residents from mosquitoes.
A pilot program in a 150-acre zone in Miami in 2018 released as many as 375,000 Wolbachia-infected male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes per week for six months and succeeded in reducing the female Ae. aegypti population by more than 75 percent.
Public health officials could soon be able to detect viruses in mosquitoes in the wild much more quickly and easily—thanks to the insect equivalent of a urine test. A new study in Australia shows that two kinds of commonly used mosquito traps can be readily modified to collect mosquito excreta, or liquid waste droplets, to be tested for signs of viruses.
An integrated vector management program is no small undertaking, but a program run in Caguas City, Puerto Rico, during the Zika outbreak of 2016 shows such an effort can be successful at the scale of a city of more than 140,000 people.