Posts Tagged ‘NC mosquito control’

WNV Infographic

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Click the infographic to enlarge!

Mosquito Control

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Bug Busters USA offers the following advice on keeping mosquitoes out of homes:

  • Eliminate potential mosquito breading grounds like birdbaths and baby pools by changing the water at least once per week.
  • Remove excess vegetation around any standing water sources that cannot be changed, dumped or removed.
  • Check your screens for any holes to keep them out of your house.

To learn more about mosquito-transmitted diseases, please visit

Nashville Health Department Monitors Early Mosquitoes

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 Nashville Health Department Monitors Early Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes have arrived in Middle Tennessee earlier than they usually do, according to the Metro Health Department.

Blame the above average temperatures and rain.

The department is monitoring areas of standing water in Davidson County looking for mosquito larvae and applying a granular larvicide to kill larvae.

To reduce the mosquito population, residents should empty standing water in flower pots, buckets, plastic covers, toys or any other container that may collect water. Change the water in birdbaths, fountains, wading pools and rain barrels at least once a week if not more often.

– Andy Humbles
The Tennessean

Malaria No More ~ “Netman” Comic for All Ages!

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Malaria No More Comic for All Ages!

Malaria No More is determined to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015. Malaria is a preventable and treatable disease and recent progress shows that malaria’s days are numbered — but we need your help. Together, we can make malaria no more.

Bedbugs in The News

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Bedbugs are in the news again. Check out this article below from the Charlotte Observer.

County vs. hotel, bed bugs

Health department wants to close hotel for infestation, but loophole won’t allow it.

By Fred Clasen-Kelly
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011
Bedbug Insecticide Risk

Bedbug infestations have resurfaced in recent years. They don’t spread disease but cause itching and scabs. Carolyn Kaster – AP

The Mecklenburg County Health Department wants to close a north Charlotte hotel after receiving at least a dozen complaints of bedbugs this year.

But officials concede the Charlotte Garden Inn likely will remain open.

That’s because state law would allow it to continue to operate as a weekly hotel that is unregulated for health and sanitation.

Virtually wiped out of the United States 40 years ago, bedbugs have resurfaced in recent years in North Carolina and across the country.

The latest complaint against the Garden Inn comes from a minister who said her church paid for two homeless men to stay in a room there earlier this month.

When the men alleged bedbugs left bite marks across their bodies, the church demanded a refund, said Wanda Gipson, pastor of Freedom Ministries of Jesus Christ International.

But hotel workers gave the church only $71 of the $160 it had paid, she said.

“They need to be shut down,” Gipson said.

Acting on another complaint about the same room, health inspectors this week confirmed a bedbug infestation, said Bobby Cobb, Mecklenburg deputy health director.

Charlotte Garden Inn management did not return calls to the Observer seeking comment.

Bedbugs, often found in bedding, luggage or clothing, do not spread disease, but their bites cause itching and scabs. Infections can result from scratching bite marks.

Catawba College in Salisbury closed half the campus dorms last fall when an infestation was discovered.

There have been 67 reported cases in Mecklenburg County this year, Cobb said.

County health officials filed paperwork in September to revoke Charlotte Garden Inn’s license after it scored 73.5 on an annual sanitation inspection, Cobb said. If the hotel had scored four points lower, Cobb said authorities could have shut down the business immediately.

He said hotel management at one point this year exterminated bedbugs from the building with pesticide treatments, but the bedbugs returned.

In October, the Garden Inn filed an appeal with the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings, allowing it to continue to rent rooms. A hearing is set for February.

Even if the hotel loses, Cobb said, it can remain in business by converting nightly rooms into weekly rentals. Under North Carolina law, local health departments can only regulate sanitation in nightly hotel rooms.

“Seems to me there is a giant hole in N.C. law,” said Mecklenburg Commissioner Bill James, who asked the Health Department to investigate complaints against the Garden Inn and another nearby hotel off Interstate 85 near the Sugar Creek Road exit.

In an email sent to the Health Department this week, James wrote: “Hotels and motels that are allowed to operate just perpetuate the cycle and increase the likelihood that individuals staying at such facilities transfer the bedbugs back to churches, schools, homes and other public places including county offices.”

Gipson, the pastor, said her church paid for the two men to stay at Garden Inn for two weeks. After about a week, she said they had to move the men to another hotel because there were so many bedbugs in the room the men were able to collect them in a cup.

When hotel management learned that the men had contacted city government officials about the bedbugs, they kicked them out and did not allow them to retrieve all of their belongings, Gipson said.

“These people should not be allowed to rent to anyone no matter what the price,” she said.

Cobb, the Health Department deputy director, said he was aware of Gipson’s complaints, but his agency has no authority to investigate because the church rented the rooms on a weekly basis.

Clasen-Kelly: 704-358-5027

Read more:

Asian Tiger Mosquito Facts

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Asian Tiger Mosquito Facts

The Asian Tiger Mosquito (also called Aedes albopictus) was brought to the United States during the 1980’s in used truck tires shipped from Japan. When the tires were moved from state to state, the Asian Tiger Mosquito spread. Now it is found in much of the eastern United States, including North Carolina.

Biology of the Asian

The life of a Tiger Mosquito has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Larva and pupa are always found in water. Like other mosquitoes, the female Asian Tiger Mosquito needs blood to produce eggs. The Tiger Mosquito eill bite many tiypes of animals, including people. It likes to bite in the daytime, mostly in early morning or late afternoon. The bite is no worse than that of other mosquitoes, but large numbers of Tiger Mosquitoes can be a problem around home or work.

The Asian Tiger Mosquito lays its eggs inside containers that will hold water. These can be man-made containers such as tires, tin cans, buckets, bird baths, and clogged gutters, or they can be natural containers such as holes in trees or rocks. The Tiger Mosquito can be a problem around homes or in the woods because of many places it can breed. Eggs are not harmed by dry or cold weather. When flooded with water during summer, the eggs hatch. Even in a small container there can be hundreds of larvae. During warm weather, it may take only a week for the Tiger mosquito to grow from egg to adult. The adult Tiger Mosquito does not fly far, so it is most likely to be found close to its breeding place. In Southeastern North Carolina Asian Tiger Mosquitoes can be found around the house from May through October. The peak months for this mosquito are July and August.

Are spray trucks useful against the Tiger Mosquito? Mosquito spray trucks or Ultra Low Volume (ULV) cold foggers are designed to work in the evenings when temperatures are cooler. The Asian Tiger Mosquito prefers to fly during daylight hours. Ultimately the best control strategy to battle the Tiger Mosquito is to “Tip and Toss” all the containers holding water around the house. Removing the Larva can dramatically reduce the adult Asian Tiger Mosquito population around the house.

What does the Asian Tiger Mosquito look like?

The adult Tiger Mosquito is only about 1/8 inch long. It is black with white stripes on its legs and body. There is a single white stripe down the center of its head and back. These stripes give it the name “Tiger” Mosquito.

Problems caused by the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Overseas, the Asian Tiger Mosquito spreads disease, and it may spread diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the U.S.

Personal Protection

Apply DEET-containing insect repellants according to the label directions.
Avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, from dusk to dawn.
Wear light-colored garments that cover your arms and legs, especially when you have to be outside between dusk and dawn.

Other Interesting Facts

One Tiger Mosquito can bite up to ten times trying to complete its hunt for a blood meal.
There are 45 (forty-five) different types of mosquitoes in Pender County.
Rooting house plants inside can produce Asian Tiger Mosquito larval habitat inside your house.
One female mosquito can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime.
The average life expenctancy of an adult mosquito is about 3 weeks.
Some mosquitoes can have as many as 12 generations per year.

With a Little Genetic Reprogramming, Blood-Sucking Can Be Deadly for Mosquitoes

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

With a Little Genetic Reprogramming, Blood-Sucking Can Be Deadly for Mosquitoes

spacing is important

What’s the News: Biochemists at the University of Arizona have found a promising new way to fight disease-carrying mosquitoes. In their research project, published in the journal PNAS, the scientists blocked mosquitoes’ ability to digest blood, making blood-sucking deadly to the winged pests. This technique could someday be used alongside other strategies to battle mosquitoes, like repellents and traps.

How the Heck:

  • Mosquitoes, like many other insects, draw most of their nutrients from nectar. But when it comes time to produce eggs, female mosquitoes require large amounts of protein, which they get from blood. So, Roger Miesfeld and his research team decided to see what would happen if they blocked a mosquito’s ability to digest blood.
  • The researchers focused on a protein complex called coatomer protein 1, or  COPI, which is made up of several subunits that cells use to secrete gut enzymes that break down blood proteins. When a mosquito draws blood, cells lining its gut package enzymes in small droplets called  vesicles, and release the packages into the gut.
  • Using a technique called  RNAi, the researchers shutdown individual COPI subunits in about 5,000 mosquitoes. Surprisingly, more than 90 percent of the  yellow fever mosquitoes died within 48 hours of blood feeding. “When she does [feed], all hell starts breaking loose, biochemically and anatomically speaking,” Miesfeld said in a prepared statement.
  • The researchers think that the removal of a COPI subunit makes the whole secretion process defective—It causes the cells lining a mosquito’s gut to fall apart, allowing blood to seep into its body.

What’s the Context:

The Future Holds: Miesfeld says that the research could be used in conjunction with other mosquito-fighting techniques, if they can develop a small molecule that works in place of the injected RNAi. Scientists could douse mosquito nets with the molecule to create an effective mosquito-specific insecticide, or place it in a pill for people to swallow (as with the deworming pill above). Though, Miesfeld notes that genetic changes would eventually make mosquitoes immune to the molecule.

Kudzu bugs new pest on the horizon

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Kudzu bugs new pest on the horizon

While only about a quarter of the size of a dime, the tiny insects known as kudzu bugs are expected to inflict serious crop loss in Cleveland County, along with the rest of North Carolina.

“They are the new pest on the horizon,” said Greg Traywick, Cleveland County extension director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Kudzu bugs are voracious eaters, named for their appetite for kudzu, but Dominic Reisig, from North Carolina State University’s Department of Entomology, warned that they have an appetite for many farm plants, and are spreading fast.

“I haven’t been able to figure how much damage they’re doing,” said Nelson Dellinger, a Shelby farmer with a kudzu bug infestation in his soybeans.

Dellinger is one of the first farmers in the area to notice the coming of kudzu bugs into Cleveland County, realizing that his own plants were infested earlier this month.

While the bugs are treatable with certain pesticides, Dellinger fears that they will not be killed off easily; he has researched the insects and heard that they quickly reproduce and have a tendency to return to previously sprayed fields.  He said that he has also looked at other farmers’ fields and seen kudzu bugs in their crops as well.

Reisig warned that kudzu bugs have a particular appetite for legumes, a plant family that includes beans, lentils, peas and, most notably, soybeans. They can also inflict heavy damage on crops, Reisig said, inflicting almost 20 percent yield loss on the plants they like to eat.

Reisig said that the “piercing, sucking pests (that) feed off the stems and leaves of plants,” are “capable flyers,” and likely spread from field to field by flight, feasting on other, less desirable plants during travel.

Reisig said that kudzu bugs are originally Asian, first arriving in the United States at Athens, Ga., just a couple of years ago. In 2009, they only lived in three or four counties in Georgia. This year, they have already spread throughout Georgia and South Carolina, and now infest crops in around 35 North Carolina counties.

The long-term effects of kudzu bugs on farms have yet to be adequately studied, since the bugs have only been in the United States for a short time, but the contributions of foreign organisms on an ecosystem are rarely positive.

“If they could stay on kudzu, we would probably welcome them,” Dellinger said.

Why some people are mosquito magnets

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Why some people are mosquito magnets

By Cari Nierenberg

Some folks seem to be magnets for mosquitoes, while others rarely get bitten. What makes the little buggers single you out and not the guy or gal you’re standing next to at the Memorial Day backyard barbecue?

The two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell, says Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach. Lab studies suggest that 20 percent of people are high attractor types, he says.

Mosquitoes are highly visual, especially later in the afternoon, and their first mode of search for humans is through vision, explains Day. People dressed in dark colors — black, navy blue, red — stand out and movement is another cue.

Once the mosquito keys in on a promising visual target, she (and it’s always “she” — only the ladies bite) then picks up on smell. The main attractor is your rate of carbon dioxide production with every exhale you take.

Those with higher metabolic rates produce more carbon dioxide, as do larger people and pregnant women. Although carbon dioxide is the primary attractant, other secondary smells coming from your skin or breath mark you as a good landing spot.

Lactic acid (given off while exercising), acetone (a chemical released in your breath), and estradiol (a breakdown product of estrogen) can all be released at varying concentrations and lure in mosquitoes, says Day. Your body temperature, or warmth, can also make a difference. Mosquitoes may flock to pregnant women because of their extra body heat.

But with more than 350 compounds isolated from odors produced by human skin, researchers have barely scratched the surface behind a mosquito’s preference for certain people, says Joseph Conlon, a medical entomologist and the technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association.

Although it may all boil down to human odor and genetics — studies of twins have revealed they tend to be attractive or repellant to mosquitoes in the same measure — it’s more complicated than that, suggests Conlon.

He says the latest thinking is that it might not be about what makes people more attractive to mosquitoes, but what makes them not as repellant. It could be that individuals who get less bites produce chemicals on their skin that make them more repellant and cover up smells that mosquitoes find attractive.

Mosquitoes don’t bite you for food, since they feed off plant nectar, Conlon explains. Females suck your blood to get a protein needed to develop their eggs, which can then send more pesky insects into the world to annoy you.

But keep this in mind when you’re outdoors this summer: Mosquitoes are more attracted to people after they drink a 12-ounce beer. It could be that people breathe a little harder after a cold one or their skin is a little warmer, suggests Conlon. But that won’t stop him from having a brewski, even though he considers himself a mosquito magnet.

Here are more fun facts about mosquitoes and bites provided by our experts:

  • Eating bananas will not attract mosquitoes and taking vitamin B-12 will not repel them; these are old wives’ tales.
  • Some mosquito species are leg and ankle biters; they cue into the stinky smell of bacteria on your feet.
  • Other species prefer the head, neck and arms perhaps because of the warmth, smells emitted by your skin, and closeness to carbon dioxide released by your mouth.
  • The size of a mosquito bite welt has nothing to do with the amount of blood taken and everything to do with how your immune system responds to the saliva introduced by the mosquito into your skin.
  • The more times you get bitten by a particular species of mosquito, the less most people react to that species over time. The bad news? There’s more than 3,000 species worldwide. – Weather News | Watch Out for Tiny, Biting Bugs

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 – Weather News | Watch Out for Tiny, Biting Bugs.