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Posts Tagged ‘141 Repellent’

Dengue spreading fast, says WHO

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on January 21, 2013 at 8:35 am

January 20, 2013 in Health & Fitness

Dengue is the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease and represents a “pandemic threat,” infecting an estimated 50 million people across all continents, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Report by Reuters

Transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes, the disease is occurring more widely due to increased movement of people and goods — including carrier objects such as bamboo plants and used tyres — as well as floods linked to climate change, the United Nations agency said.

The viral disease, which affected only a handful of areas in the 1950s, is now present in more than 125 countries — significantly more than malaria, historically the most notorious mosquito-borne disease.

The most advanced vaccine against dengue is only 30% effective, trials last year showed.

“In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the past 50 years,” the WHO said in a statement.

Late last year, Europe suffered its first sustained outbreak since the 1920s, with 2 000 people infected on the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira.

Worldwide, two million cases of dengue are reported each year by 100 countries, mainly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, causing 5 000 to 6 000 deaths, said Raman Velayudhan, a specialist at the WHO’s control of neglected tropical diseases department.

But the true number is far higher as the disease has spread exponentially and is now present on all continents, he said.

“The WHO estimates that on average about 50 million cases occur every year. This is a very conservative estimate,” Velayudhan said, adding that some independent studies put the figure at 100 million.

“Dengue is the most threatening and fastest spreading mosquito-borne disease. It is pandemic-prone, but it is a threat only. Definitely a bigger threat now than ever,” he said

Malaria caused more deaths but was on the decline, affecting fewer than 100 countries.

Speaking to a news briefing after the WHO released a report on 17 neglected tropical diseases affecting 1 billion people, Velayudhan said: “The mosquito has silently expanded its distribution.

“So today you have [the] aedes mosquito in over 150 countries. The threat of dengue exists all across the globe.”

In Europe, the aedes mosquitoes that cause both dengue and chikungya disease have spread to 18 countries, often via the importation of ornamental bamboo or second-hand tires, he said.

“But we are trying to address this in a more systematic way, by controlling entry of vectors at points of entry — seaports, airports, as well as the ground crossings,” Velayudhan said, noting that it was hard to detect mosquitoes and their eggs.

The WHO also said it aimed to eliminate globally two neglected tropical diseases, dracunculiasis, known as guinea worm disease, in 2015, and yaws, or treponematoses, in 2020.

Symptoms of dengue

Dengue causes flu-like symptoms that subside in a few days in some sufferers. But the severe form of the disease requires hospitalisation for complications, including severe bleeding, that may be lethal.

There is no specific treatment but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%, according to the Geneva-based WHO.

“You have to bear in mind that it has no treatment and vaccines are still in the research stage,” Velayudhan said.

The most advanced, being developed by French drugmaker Sanofi SA, proved only 30% effective in a large clinical trial in Thailand, far less than hoped, according to results published in September.

But researchers said it did show for the first time that a safe vaccine was possible.

Predators, Prey and Lyme Disease

In Lyme Disease on June 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/predators-prey-and-lyme-disease/

JUNE 18, 2012, 3:00 PM

Predators, Prey and Lyme Disease

By KELLY SLIVKA

Deer ticks are aptly named, in a sense; a Northeastern deer can carry over 1,000 of these ticks on its body. But as far as humans are concerned, the ticks might be more relevantly called mouse ticks. That’s because white-footed mice and other small mammals, not deer, are now known by scientists to be major carriers of Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is spreading in the Northeast and the Midwest, and according to the national Centers for Disease Control, the number of annual cases over the past decade has been increasing. However, no one is quite sure why. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers tried to figure out what is driving the proliferation of Lyme disease in human populations by studying populations patterns in animals that interact with ticks. Their study suggests that large predators like coyotes and foxes that aren’t typically associated with Lyme disease transmission may have a big impact on the spread of the disease.

The life cycle of deer ticks depends on interactions in the entire ecosystem in which the ticks dwell, said Taal Levi, the study’s lead author, who did the research while a doctoral student at the University of California Santa Cruz and is now an ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York.

Ticks rely on “bloodmeals” from other animals to move through their three life stages: larva, nymph, and adult, Dr. Levi said. When the ticks hatch into larvae, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, is not present.

For a tick larva to grow into a nymph, its next life stage, it needs blood. If the larva gets its blood meal from a mouse already carrying B. burgdorferi, the larva picks up the bacteria and becomes a carrier itself. It grows into a nymph and waits for its next host so it can get the blood meal necessary to grow into an adult tick. “Sometimes one of those nymphs doesn’t bite a small mammal but bites a person, and that’s where we get the disease,” Dr. Levi said.

While people used to blame deer for the spread of Lyme disease, Dr. Levi said that scientific evidence has indicated that deer probably aren’t significant transmitters of B. burgdorferi bacteria because their systems tend to quickly flush it out. But “some hosts, like white-footed mice, don’t clear it at all,” he said, which means the bacteria hang around long enough to be transmitted to ticks.

Dr. Levi hypothesized that because these small animals are prey, their abundance – and the spread of the Lyme disease bacteria within them – depends on the abundance of their predators. In the study, he and his colleagues did a computer analysis of known cases of Lyme disease and population data for red foxes — a key predator of rodents — in four states with a high prevalence of the disease: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Virginia. For good measure, they also compared deer populations with the tally of Lyme disease cases in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia and New York.

The models showed higher numbers of Lyme disease cases in places where there are fewer foxes. They detected no significant relationship between numbers of deer and numbers of Lyme disease cases.

The researchers also ran computer programs comparing Lyme disease cases with coyote populations in the states where they modeled red fox populations. As coyotes have spread through the Midwest and Northeast, they have tended to displace foxes, Dr. Levi said.

But coyotes don’t generally pack themselves as tightly into an area as foxes, meaning that there tend to be fewer coyotes in an area than there were foxes. “If you replace fox habitat with coyote-occupied habitat, you lose a large number of predators, and those predators you’ve lost consumed a high number of mammals,” Dr. Levi said. So the models showed a significant relationship between high numbers of coyotes and high numbers of Lyme disease cases.

So: more coyotes equals fewer foxes, which means fewer predators, which means more small animals are running around that could be carrying the bacteria for Lyme disease. More bacteria is therefore transmitted to more ticks, which then transmit the bacteria to humans. It’s complicated.

In fact, it’s so complicated that Maria Diuk-Wasser, an epidemiologist at the Yale School for Public Health who was not involved in the study, said she was skeptical about the connections drawn between top predators and Lyme disease cases in the study.

Modeling patterns can show relationships between data, but not necessarily the causes of the relationships, she pointed out. For example, to say that there’s a correlation between the number of coyotes in an area and the number of cases of Lyme disease reported there is different than saying that a high number of coyotes in an area causes more cases of Lyme disease in humans.

“What they say is plausible,” Dr. Diuk-Wasser said. But she said she wanted to see more experimental studies performed out in the field to support the models. The models in the study use historical population data recorded by hunters and state wildlife management services rather than data collected specifically for the study.

Dr. Diuk-Wasser said that birds are also major carriers of Lyme disease bacteria and might be even more significant carriers than rodents because of the distances they can easily travel.

Given the health implications, “understanding the ecological mechanisms that drive Lyme disease in nature is very important,” she said.

Mosquito awareness week nationwide next week June 18, 2012

In DEET, Dengue Fever, Malaria, West Nile Virus on June 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

From June 24 to June 30, residents and business officials of Fort Myers Beach are asked to be more aware of the five D’s of protection during Mosquito Awareness Week.

The five D’s are: don’t go outdoors at Dusk and Dawn when mosquitos are most active; to protect against bites, Dress so your skin is covered with clothing; empty containers and Drain stagnant water; and protect bare skin and clothing with DEET mosquito repellent.

Controlling mosquitoes is important. Make sure to check standing water or any possible containers holding water. Try to check after rainstorms, for these potential hazards that will attract mosquitoes. Also, wear mosquito repellent and cover up with as much clothing as possible, especially between dusk and dawn, to help prevent being bitten by these pesky bugs.

http://www.fort-myers-beach-observer.com/page/content.detail/id/520788/Mosquito-awareness-week-nationwide-next-week.html?nav=5051

Cayenne Tick Responsible for Equine Piroplasmosis Outbreak

In Lyme Disease, Uncategorized on October 7, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Read the magazine story to find out more.
Photo: Cayenne tick.
ARS scientists have identified the cayenne tick as the predominant vector of Equine piroplasmosis in horses in a 2009 Texas outbreak. Photo courtesy of Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org.

For further reading


By Sharon Durham
October 3, 2011The cayenne tick has been identified as one of the vectors of equine piroplasmosis in horses in a 2009 Texas outbreak, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

The United States has been considered free from the disease since 1978, but sporadic cases have occurred in recent years. In October 2009, in Kleberg County, Texas, a mare was presented for veterinary care with clinical signs of infection, including poor appetite and weight loss. Subsequent investigation and testing confirmed the original case and indentified more than 290 additional infected animals on the ranch.

Research leader Donald Knowles, entomologist Glen Scoles and veterinary medical officer Massaro Ueti with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Animal Disease Research Unit, in Pullman, Wash., and collaborator Robert Mealey with Washington State University in Pullman have been working on the project with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).

ARS is USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, and the research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security.

The researchers’ goal was to assess and prevent the spread of the Texas outbreak, which could have serious international trade implications if it is found to have spread beyond the ranch where the outbreak occurred. Part of their initiative was to identify the tick species responsible for the new outbreak.

Only two U.S. tick species—Dermacentor variabilis and Rhipicephalus (Boophilusmicroplus—had previously been shown experimentally to be vectors of Theileria equi, the microbe that causes equine piroplasmosis, according to Scoles.

The cayenne tick, Amblyomma cajennense, had not previously been shown to be a competent vector. Adult cayenne ticks were collected from positive horses on the outbreak ranch and allowed to re-attach and feed on a noninfected horse. Scoles led the study showing these ticks successfully transmitted T. equi. The results will be published in the October issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Knowles, Ueti and Mealey are treating some of the South Texas horses with imidocarb dipropionate. Tests conducted thus far by the team have been promising and trials are ongoing.

Read more about this research in the October 2011 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

New Tick-Borne Disease Is Discovered

In Lyme Disease, Uncategorized on September 22, 2011 at 9:12 am

The New York Times

By 

A new tick-borne disease that may be stealthily infecting some Americans has been discovered by Yale researchers working with Russian scientists.

The disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia miyamotoi, which is distantly related to Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease.

B. miyamotoi has been found — albeit relatively rarely — in the same deer tick species that transmit Lyme, and the Yale researchers estimate that perhaps 3,000 Americans a year pick it up from tick bites, compared with about 25,000 who get Lyme disease.

But there is no diagnostic test for it in this country, so it is not yet known whether it has actually made any Americans sick.

The same short course of antibiotics that normally cures Lyme also seems to cure it.

In Russia, where a team in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg developed a test that can distinguish miyamotoi from other tick-borne spirochetes, it caused higher fevers than Lyme disease typically does. In about 10 percent of cases, the fevers repeatedly disappear and return after a week or two.

The study by the two teams is to be published soon in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Since the disease was only recently discovered, it is unknown whether it does serious long-term damage, as untreated Lyme disease can.

The Yale medical school researchers — Durland Fish, an entomologist, and Dr. Peter J. Krause, an epidemiologist — have recently won a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the symptoms and develop a rapid diagnostic kit.

Dr. Fish found B. miyamotoi in American ticks 10 years ago, but was repeatedly refused a study grant until the Russians proved it caused illness. “It’s been like pulling teeth,” he said. “Go ask the N.I.H. why.”

The discovery will no doubt add to the controversy surrounding Lyme disease. While most Lyme victims are cured by a two-week course of antibiotics, some have symptoms that go on for years and believe they have persistent infections that the antibiotics did not reach.

Most medical authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America, take the position that “chronic Lyme disease” does not exist and that those victims either have other illnesses or are hypochondriacs. They oppose the solution demanded by some self-proclaimed victims: long-term intravenous antibiotics.

Dr. Krause said it was unlikely that the new spirochete could be responsible for chronic Lyme, because the symptoms do not match: Most of those who think they have chronic Lyme complain of fatigue and joint pain, not repeated fevers.

But he said doctors might consider the new infection, especially in patients who think they have been bitten by ticks, come up negative on Lyme tests and have recurrent episodes of fever.

B. miyamotoi does not appear to cause the “bull’s-eye rash” that helps doctors diagnose Lyme disease, the Russian team found.

“People shouldn’t panic,” Dr. Krause said. “And they also should not jump to the conclusion that we’ve found the cause of chronic Lyme disease. It’s not highly likely, but it’s possible. We just don’t know.”

The miyamotoi spirochete was discovered in Japan in 1995. It was at first believed to be limited to those islands.

In 2001, Dr. Fish found it in about 2 percent of the deer ticks in the Northeast and Upper Midwest and proved that mice could pick it up from tick bites.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/health/20tick.html?src=recg

More than 6,000 struck with dengue fever in Pakistan

In Dengue Fever, Uncategorized on September 19, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Pakistanis give blood samples at a dengue fever medical camp in Lahore on September 13, 2011.
Pakistanis give blood samples at a dengue fever medical camp in Lahore on September 13, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A health official says 25 people have died
  • Most of the cases are in the city of Lahore
  • The outbreak has caused panic in the city

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Dengue fever has killed 25 people and affected more than 6,000 over the past two months in Lahore, Pakistan, a health department spokesman said Monday.

In total, 6,400 cases of dengue fever have been documented, said Ikhlaq Ahmed, spokesman for the health department of Punjab province. Of those, 6,000 are in Lahore, a city of more than 6 million people known as Pakistan‘s cultural capital.

The 25 who died are all from Lahore, in eastern Pakistan. An average of 300 new cases of the virus-based disease, spread by mosquitoes, are being reported in the city daily.

“We prefer to stay at home rather than going shopping,” because of the threat of disease, said Zainab Khan, a 25-year-old professional from Lahore.

Asim Hussain, who works in an office in Lahore, said, “I may lose my job,” since he hasn’t gone to work because of the outbreak.

All the schools in Lahore have been closed by the provincial government, Ahmed said.

The outbreak has created panic in the city, he said, as thousands of people crowd hospitals for testing. The city’s poshest areas are among the hardest hit, he said.

 

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/09/19/pakistan.dengue.fever/index.html?hpt=hp_bn2

Tracz to Speak in Thailand to the International Conference on Biopesticides

In Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

A Novel Biopesticide Spatial Repellent for Malaria Avoidance

Isolongifolenone

Dennis Tracz

8/12/2011

 

A Novel Biopesticide Spatial Repellent for Malaria Avoidance

Tracz, Dennis

141 Repellent, Inc. Lexington, Virginia 

Mosquitoes are becoming resistant to current insecticides used in treating bed nets and for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) of interior surfaces. Because of a toxic mode of action current generations of mosquitoes in some areas are not killed or repelled by pyrethroids or even DDT. We are developing formulations and materials for introducing a recently discovered natural, biopesticide arthropod spatial repellent with a deterrent mode of action that prevents mosquitoes from feeding.

Isolongifolenone and it’s analogs as discovered by Dr. Aijun Zhang of the USDA, ARS and colleagues acts effectively in in vitro testing in preventing feeding by malaria vectors. Additional testing by Nicole Achee and colleagues from Uniformed Services University demonstrated spatial repellency effects from the compound. DDT has demonstrated effective spatial repellency over the years even where mosquitoes have developed resistance to its toxic mode of action. The mosquitoes in many cases will not enter a dwelling where DDT has been sprayed on the walls. Initial lab testing in conjunction with ICR Labs and International Flavors and Fragrances patented PolyIFF have demonstrated that infusing an isolongifolenone analog into a molded plastic form in thin film or thicker formats results in a long lasting and effective spatial repellent. Indications are that the spatial repellent effect can be engineered to be effective for up to 3 years.

We are now starting investigation of adding our spatial repellent to clothing in conjunction with Insect Shield, LLC, the leading manufacturer of insect repellent clothing. We believe a non-toxic spatial repellent can improve lives and save money.

Spermless Mosquitoes Offer Malaria Hope

In Dengue Fever, Malaria, Uncategorized on August 10, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Genetically-Engineered Spermless Mosquitoes Offer Malaria Hope

PHOTO: Genetically altering mosquitoes so that they cannot produce sperm may hold hope for stemming the tide of malaria, according to new research from Britain and Italy.
Spermless Mosquitoes Bred to Fight Malaria
By COURTNEY HUTCHISON, ABC News Medical Unit
Aug. 9, 2011

Where mosquito netting and bug spray fail, European scientists are turning to a unique solution to stem the tide of malaria infectionworldwide: they’re breeding boy bugs that shoot blanks.

In a study release Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers in Italy and the U.K. showed they were able to genetically modify male Anopheles mosquitoes so that they wouldn’t produce sperm. The bugs would still produce seminal fluid, so mating rituals would go on per usual, but the fruit of coupling would be sterile eggs that don’t hatch.

“If mosquitoes [don't] produce any progeny…the number of mosquitoes in the wild will be reduced, eventually reducing the chances of malaria transmission,” says co-author on the study Dr. Flaminia Catteruccia, of the Imperial College in London.

Though there are thousands of mosquito species, only a handful of them can transmit malaria, Catteruccia says, so targeting these species has the potential to reduce the spread of disease and is less likely to negatively impact the local ecosystem.

PHOTO: Genetically altering mosquitoes so that they cannot produce sperm may hold hope for stemming the tide of malaria, according to new research from Britain and Italy.
The fact that the Anopheles species of mosquito tends to be monogamous only enhances the effect, as those females who mate with sterile males tended to not seek out other, potentially virile mates.

Sterility may even prove a reproductive boon for sperm-less males, authors note, because making sperm is energy-consuming, thus the modified males may appear to be stronger mates.

More than 225 million people worldwide suffer from malaria. Each year, nearly 800,000 people will die from the disease, many of whom are children living in Africa.

“Given the constant spread of the disease, alternative approaches to the use of insecticides are urgently needed,” the study’s authors wrote.

Modifying Mosquitoes to Stem Malaria

Monday’s research is just the most recent example of a number of mosquito-modifying techniques tested in the past few years in hopes of limiting the mosquito population or the bugs’ disease transmission capabilities.

In 2009, Australian researchers used a modified bacteria to cut the lifespan of mosquitoes in half. Researchers hoped this would reduce the extent to which the bugs spread Dengue fever, an infection that afflicts tens of millions of people each year and kills 20,000.

Why might this work? Both Dengue fever and malaria require time to incubate within the bug before they can be transmitted by a bite. This means that shorter-living mosquitos can still be a source of food and serve their purpose in the ecosystem, but they don’t live long enough to pass on these diseases.

In 2010, between 2,000 and 3,000 of these short-lived mosquitos were released into the environment in Malaysia as a trial run for reducing Dengue fever rates.

Other mosquito-limiting tactics have included modifying males to be unable to fly (and who have offspring who also cannot fly) and injecting mosquitos with a special fungus that is thought to reduce the bug’s ability to pass malaria to humans, even when the bugs themselves become infected.

The hope with these various methods is that disease rates can be lowered without negatively impacting the surrounding ecosystems, which often include several species of insects and animals that rely on mosquitoes for food.

141 Repellent to Compete for Deployed War Fighter Protection (DWFP) Grant

In DEET, Dengue Fever, Lyme Disease, Malaria, Uncategorized, West Nile Virus on July 29, 2011 at 9:21 pm

We hope to compete for this grant to help us further develop our repellent.

From: Burkett, Douglas LtCol OSD ATL
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 9:10 AM
To:
Subject: Deployed War Fighter Protection (DWFP) call for Pre-proposals (Suspense: COB 9 Sept 2011)

MEMORANDUM FOR Deployed War Fighter Protection (DWFP) Competitive Grant Pre-proposal submitters July 28 2011

SUBJECT: DWFP Call For FY12 Pre-Proposals (Suspense: COB 9 Sept 2011)

Dear Colleagues,

As the Research Liaison Officer for the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB), I continue to have the distinct pleasure of announcing this year’s call for DWFP pre-proposals for competitive grants. This year we have about $1.0M available for new starts (5-8 new projects). We will consider all applications related to development and testing of public health (PH) related application technologies, pesticides and repellents.

This year’s emphasis will primarily focus on new materials, equipment and application methods targeting mosquitoes, phlebotomine sand flies, and filth flies; new or established pesticides and products used in novel ways; new or improved synergists and formulations; and alternatives to pyrethroids for treatment of clothing for personal protection against biting insects. DWFP is especially amenable to grants that transition products from lab to commercial partners for use by both the military and for general public health vector control purposes.

The official announcement can be found at http://www.afpmb.org/content/call-dwfp-pre-proposals-2012 with the full application, submission details and embedded links for submitting pre-proposals for FY 2012 at: http://goo.gl/hMTeI. The call for pre-proposals is also posted athttps://www.fbo.gov/notices/2adce83f851f8c0784f466275fbd4085. Please forward this announcement as appropriate to colleagues and researchers who may not be on the distribution list or in our community.

On behalf of the AFPMB and our deployed forces, we appreciate any of your efforts to develop new tools and products for protection of deployed personnel against vector-borne diseases, with value for wider applications against pests and vectors of public health importance. Should you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly, or our DWFP Technical Consultant, Dr Graham White: office            352-374-5968      , cell             352-328-9473      , graham.white@ars.usda.gov.

Most Sincerely,

//Signed/dab/29 July 2011//

Lt Col Douglas A. Burkett, PhD
Research Liaison Officer / Deployed War Fighter Protection (DWFP) Program Manager Armed Forces Pest Management Board, ODUSD (I&E) Forest Glen, Bldg. 172
2461 Linden Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20190-1230
Office:             (301) 295-8315       (DSN 295)
BB:             703 380 0099

www.afpmb.org

Portsmouth, VA asks Academics to Solve Mosquito Woes

In DEET, Lyme Disease, Uncategorized, West Nile Virus on July 21, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Portsmouth asks academics to solve mosquito woes

The Asian tiger mosquito has plagued Virginia since 1991.

 The Asian tiger mosquito has plagued Virginia since 1991.
The Virginian-Pilot
© June 22, 2011

PORTSMOUTH

For years, the city has struggled to fight the salt-marsh mosquito, a pesky bug that swarms Craney Island, keeping residents locked inside their homes. But now, another pest, the Asian tiger mosquito, has plagued the area so badly that Portsmouth has turned to experts at Rutgers University for help.

The mosquitoes are bad all over Hampton Roads, Portsmouth’s mosquito control administrator, George Wojcik, said recently.

There are so many places for them to lie low and reproduce that traditional control methods don’t work, he said.

The black and white insects have been stealthily zipping around Virginia since 1991. They’ve taken up residence in birdbaths, rain gutters, planters and virtually any other water-bearing object. They also love backyards – places that are difficult for the city to reach with truck-mounted sprays, Wojcik said.

Portsmouth residents Jim and Carol Grider said their backyard is particularly where the bugs have been pesky in previous years. Despite diligent efforts to rid their property of water, the mosquitoes regularly breed in the flower pots they keep out back, Jim Grider said.

Asking people to keep their property water-free is unrealistic, said Rutgers associate professor Dr. Dina Fonseca, who is leading the Asian tiger mosquito project from New Jersey. Portsmouth joins about a dozen counties in three other states that are participating in a study to wipe out the problem.

Even the tidiest homeowners can fall victim to a tiger mosquito infestation, she said. Tiny pools of water in the street or a neighbor’s backyard can result in a mosquito problem for an entire community.

“We had prisoners on good behavior come out and clean up alleys and pick up tires and go into houses and clean up everything,” Fonseca said about her testing in New Jersey, “and we ended up concluding that it just doesn’t work.”

Ideas to control the mosquito population include trying to kill the bugs early in the summer, before activity normally peaks, to using a juvenile hormone that would keep the mosquitoes forever young. A mosquito eternally trapped as a child can’t bite, Fonseca said.

The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also is working with Brandeis University economists to measure just how annoyed residents get with mosquitoes and to determine whether they are a problem people actually want solved, Fonseca said.

The answers are easy for the Griders, who are interested to see what the study will show. Their Cavalier Forest neighborhood is one of four Portsmouth communities being tested.

Any solutions, Fonseca and Wojcik warn, are likely years away.

So for now, keep your bug spray handy. You’re going to need it.

http://hamptonroads.com/2011/06/portsmouth-asks-academics-solve-mosquito-woes

Sarah Hutchins,             (757) 446-2326      , sarah.hutchins@pilotonline.com

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