mosquitoes

THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA / WUSF

Professors from the University of Florida have developed a mosquito trap that they say could help prevent the spread of Zika virus.  

Professor Phil Koehler says the trap is proven to catch and kill mosquitos but the public might not be able use it this summer because it’s awaiting federal approval.

The professors have applied for emergency registration from the Environmental Protection Agency, which could bring it to the public in a matter of weeks instead of almost a year. Koehler said he’s hoping to have it approved for this mosquito season.   

WATCH: Mosquitoes Use 6 Needles To Suck Your Blood

Jun 7, 2016

It's not just idle curiosity that's got scientists hunting down all the bloody details of a mosquito bite. Bites from these bugs are more dangerous to humans than those of any other animal; mosquitoes kill hundreds of thousands of people each year worldwide, and sicken millions more.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  While Florida is focusing on the prospect of the Zika virus getting a foothold in the state, the focus in the Florida Keys is on Aedes aegypti, the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

That's because the British company Oxitec has proposed its first U.S. trial of a genetically modified version of the mosquito in a Keys neighborhood. The Cayman Islands, site of the first-ever field trial six years ago, recently agreed to go forward with releasing the Oxitec mosquitoes.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

While the FDA has released a preliminary finding of no significant impact from a proposed test of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys, many in the neighborhood where the test would take place are opposed to the plan.

Oxitec, the company that makes the genetically modified version of aedes aegypti, is holding two public meetings in Key West this week to answer questions from the public, especially those in Key Haven. That neighborhood, a peninsula about five miles from Key West, is the proposed testing site.

Oxitec

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the public comment period to May 13 on a proposed field trial in the Florida Keys. The trial involves the release of a thousand genetically modified mosquitoes.

It would be the first such trial in the U.S. by Oxitec, a British company that genetically alters the males in the Aedes aegypti species. The modification causes the offspring of these males to die quickly.

jentavery / Flickr

The first cases of zika have been confirmed in Florida, and experts say more small-scale outbreaks are likely here.

 

At least three cases of the virus have been confirmed in Florida, including two in Miami-Dade County, according to multiple news reports. Matthew DeGennaro, a mosquito researcher at Florida International University, says he expects to see more cases, although the outbreaks will not be nearly as large as the ones ravaging the Americas.

 

In Florida Keys, Local Elections Carry a Sting

Oct 30, 2014
Florida Keys Mosquito Control District

In this election, voters in the Keys will cast some ballots that are unusual even for South Florida. They'll decide who leads the county's war on mosquitoes.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board meets once a month with one primary mission: "To make sure that there is no disease spread in the Florida Keys by mosquitoes," said Stephen Smith, the board's chairman.

Keys Prepare For Genetically Modified Mosquito Release

Oct 29, 2014
Javier Devilman / Flickr Creative Commons

Two storage rooms at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District's Marathon building are being converted into a temporary laboratory to raise genetically modified mosquitoes.

If the FDA approves, the Keys could become the first in the U.S. to release the mosquitos, which are intended to reduce the population of aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry diseases including dengue fever, malaria and chikungunya.

Mosquitoes In Miami: Is It Safe To Spray?

Aug 8, 2014
freedigitalphotos.net

Miami-Dade's Mosquito Control operation is the oldest in Florida. Operations manager Chalmers Vasquez says it started in 1935.

"There are two reasons that Florida became a state," says Vasquez. "Mosquito control and air conditioning."

The concept of mosquito control is two-fold: Spray to protect from diseases spread by mosquitoes like dengue fever, and now chikungunya, and to make a bug-infested swampland actually livable for people.

mamabird50/flickr

Like every other state, Florida has two statues in the U.S. Capitol that honor notable people in the state’s history. Dr. John Gorrie is one of them, because he pioneered a contraption in the mid-1800s that changed our lives: Air conditioning.

Palm Beach County Prepares For Chikungunya

Jun 4, 2014
http://ollie4bugboard.com/florida-keys-mosquito-control-part2-waterways/

 

Palm Beach County is now joining efforts to fight the mosquito-transmitted virus known as Chikungunya, which so far has infected one person in the county and 10 people total in the state.

The virus is rarely fatal but symptoms can include chronic pain that lasts for years.

“Look at your house, environment, make sure that you don´t have any standing water," says Tim O´Connor, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. "If you do, drain it off as much as possible.”   

Public health officials in Florida are once again scrambling to contain an outbreak of dengue fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes.

Until 2009, when it surfaced in Key West, the tropical disease hadn't been seen in Florida in more than 70 years.

Now there are concerns dengue may establish a foothold in the state.

Prioria Robotics / Prioria Robotics

At dusk during a hot Miami summer, when you’re outside getting chewed on by countless mosquitoes, it’s easy to wonder how anyone ever decided to settle in South Florida.

The mosquitoes, in fact, were so bad for some early South Floridians that they had rooms at the front of their frontier shacks called “losers,” which contained smudge pots and palmetto branches to literally “lose” all of the bugs from your body before entering.

Eli Christman/ Flickr

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed to work with a British company looking to test out genetically-modified mosquitoes in the U.S.

British biotechnology company Oxitec Ltd has been waiting for a U.S. federal agency to sign on as a partner so they could test out these altered mosquitoes in Key West.

In the past few years, Key West has had a problem with mosquitoes in the area spreading Dengue-- but Oxitec thinks they can kill off a large part of this mosquito population with their altered mosquitoes.

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