Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Devising novel strategies against vector mosquitoes and house flies Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 17, 2010
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In 1932, the United States Department of Agriculture established an entomological research laboratory in Orlando, Florida. The initial focus of the program was on investigations of mosquitoes (including malaria vectors under conditions “simulating those of South Pacific jungles”) and other insects affecting man and animals in the southeastern U.S. Among the many accomplishments made by research scientists at that laboratory and its successor in Gainesville, Florida included developing: a new method for residual control of Anopheles, the broad-spectrum repellent DEET (from among over 30,000 compounds evaluated), a mass-rearing technology for Anopheles, a sterile insect technique (SIT) for Anopheles control in El Salvador, the ultra-low volume (ULV) pesticide spray systems that protected military personnel from mosquitoes, a variety of biological control approaches (e.g., development and registration of methoprene, Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis and B. sphaericus), and permethrin-impregnated tents and uniforms for personal protection. In 1953, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) was created. Since then, in collaboration with industry and the World Health Organization, the program has evaluated almost all of the public health insecticides entering the market place in the last half of the 20th century. During the last several years, the program has made progress in the development of “attract and kill” and “push-pull” approaches to vector control, the evaluation of spatial repellents, the discovery of new toxicants, and the use of RNA interference (RNAi) to silence critical genes and other molecular techniques for the control of vectors. In addition, behavioral studies have been conducted of the excito-repellency caused by new insecticides and the impact of sub-lethal doses of insecticides. While much progress has been made over the last 8 decades, researchers have continued to explore the utility of microbial control of vectors (e.g., salivary gland hypertrophy virus [SGHV] in house flies and baculoviruses in mosquitoes), modern SIT for mosquito control, and insecticide-treated covers for water holding devices. The focus of the program for the next 5 years will include discovery of new larvicides, adulticides, and RNAi-based biopesticides; improved repellents for use on clothing; improve control products and technology for aerosol and residual insecticide applications; and development of attractant-toxicant traps and “push-pull” baited trapping systems. Other aspects of the ARS program will be discussed in presentations by Dr. Kenneth Linthicum and Dr. Ulrich Bernier.