A study that shows mosquitoes might benefit from wetland-management tactics aimed at protecting frogs illustrates the complicated ecological dynamics present in urban wetlands. Understanding the habitat requirements and ecological interactions of local mosquito species is critical to balancing such wetlands' risks and benefits.
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.
The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the "mosquito assassin" could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
Several emerging mosquito-management methods require the transport of mosquitoes to precise locations. There, lab-reared mosquitoes—for instance, sterilized males—mix with wild mosquitoes and hinder the population's ability to reproduce or transmit disease. But, getting mosquitoes from lab to wild presents logistical challenges. A team led by researchers at New Mexico State University are tackling this problem and have made a surprising discovery about just how tightly live mosquitoes can be packed up.
A new study of genetic samples from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from around the world finds no evidence of naturally occurring infection with Wolbachia bacteria, a positive sign for efforts that artificially introduce Wolbachia to mosquito populations to reduce their numbers or interrupt their ability to transmit disease-causing pathogens.