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.
The body of knowledge built since the arrival of West Nile virus in the Americas in 1999 is now powering efforts to minimize its impact and prepare for the invasion of other mosquito-borne diseases. A new special collection in the Journal of Medical Entomology takes stock of lessons learned and progress made over the past 20 years of West Nile virus research, surveillance, and control.
In many tick species, more than three-quarters of their lives are spent off-host in the soil or among the leaf litter. A research team at Cornell University highlights an important opportunity for tick researchers and soil ecologists to collaborate to better understand what happens when the ticks aren't in contact with hosts.
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.