Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BITING ARTHROPODS: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

2011 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
1. Discover and evaluate new toxicants and biological control agents for control of biting Nematocera. 2. Develop new application methods for pesticides to biting Nematocera that minimize environmental exposure and that optimize lethal or repellent effect, including presentation on clothing, aerosol application in or outdoors, residual application, disinsection of aircraft, and delivery of spatially repellent compounds. 3. Conceive and test new methods of managing vector and pest populations through the use of behavior-altering chemicals, including repellents, attractants, and inhibitors. 4. Examine the parameters of behavioral bioassay methods that influence practical comparisons of personal protection products, with a view to determining those elements of commercial testing that influence reliability of results. 5. Determine chemical and other cues associated with regulation and orientation of specific behaviors by Aedes albopictus, Culex pipiens group species/hybrids, and other biting arthropods that can be applied to the solution of operational surveillance and control problems. 6. Discover and characterize environmental predictors of the distribution of mosquitoes in order to assess the risk of invasive species and pathogen transmission. Apply to the development of methods and techniques to accurately assess mosquito population density, to deploy vector surveillance systems, and to detect exotic invasive species.


1b. Approach (from AD-416)
1. High throughput bioassays will be used to screen candidate toxicants from libraries of synthetic compounds and natural products. Bacterial toxins, baculoviruses, and biorationals will be evaluated in new formulations in standard assays. Molecular methods (RNAi and dsRNA) will be used to identify targets for control and resistance management. Improved formulation and delivery of dsRNA will be developed to penetrate the mosquito cuticle. 2. Factors affecting measurement of bite protection by permethrin-treated clothing will be examined. Alternative repellents applied to military uniforms and improved binding of repellents to fabric will be researched, followed by laboratory validation of factory-treated fabric and semi-field studies. Aerosol applications of control compounds, using different formulations, equipment, techniques, and strategies will be explored. Existing and novel chemical compounds, formulations, equipment, impregnated materials, application techniques, and strategies for barrier applications will be evaluated under laboratory, semi-field and field conditions. Factors needed to achieve optimal control will be identified. Air curtains will be designed and evaluated in simulated aircraft fuselages. 3. Comparison of pathogen-infected and uninfected mosquito responses to behavior-altering chemicals will be examined. Baited commercial traps will be used as surrogates for human and livestock hosts. The manner in which compounds affect host-seeking behavior will be quantified. Catches in control and attractant-baited traps located near devices releasing spatial repellents or inhibitors will be compared. 4. The effect of mosquito fatigue on repellent protection time will be evaluated with female Aedes aegypti and a study comparing methods for measuring repellent efficacy will be conducted. Laboratory results of repellent efficacy will be compared to products tested in the semi-field environment. 5. Factors that result in positive resting site selection responses by adult mosquitoes, volatile chemical cues associated with mate location, and cues used for location and utilization of sugar and nectar sources will be determined. Plant-derived compounds that attract mosquitoes will be evaluated in the field. Factors that influence host-finding behavior based on host odors and olfactory cues will be used to enhance traps. Novel strategies for mosquito surveillance that utilize oviposition site cues will be devised. New chemical attractants will be identified and evaluated in the field using behavioral and chemical analyses. The response to toxicant exposure on arthropod behavior will be evaluated to improve toxicant impact. 6. Methods and techniques to assess mosquito population density will be developed. Environmental predictors of mosquito distribution will be characterized to provide improved strategies for assessment of mosquito populations. Discover ecologic and climatic factors to assess population densities of vector mosquitoes in the US and, using Rift Valley fever, evaluate the risk of exotic species and disease introduction into the U.S.


3. Progress Report
Biting Nematocera transmit pathogens that cause diseases such as West Nile virus, dengue, malaria, leishmaniasis and filariasis to humans and animals in urban, suburban, and rural areas and in agricultural, recreational, and military environments. This research project is focused on improving the control of biting Nematocera through a better understanding of their biology and the development of novel products, technologies, and control strategies. Research with gene silencing technology has led to the development of RNA interference (RNAi) strategies through the use of Highly Specific Pest Control (Hi-SPec) substances in combination with attractant sugar sources. This type of trapping system can be used as part of an integrated pest management control strategy to reduce disease risk to humans and animals. Results from larvicidal and adult screening with insecticides resulted in promising new compounds that may become alternative insecticides for mosquito and fly control. Current and new U.S. Army uniform materials were evaluated for their ability to prevent mosquito bites. The protection of U.S. military personnel from diseases transmitted by insect bites is critical to the success of our military missions. The bite protection of Fire-Resistant Army Combat Uniforms (FRACUs) treated with permethrin by factory-treatment was completed. The results of the studies with uniforms were used by the U.S. Army to award contracts to suppliers of these uniforms. The data generated for U.S. Marine Corps was submitted to the U.S. EPA for label registration of permethrin-treated uniforms. Historically, a control strategy for use against mosquitoes that transmit malaria in Africa has been through the treatment of the inside walls of dwellings with Indoor Residual Sprays (IRS). As an alternative to IRS, Durable Residual Wall Linings (DL) have been evaluated and found to produce 100% kill of mosquitoes, 8 months after initial usage. Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) tests of a sumithrin/prallethrin combination insecticide was found to be superior to other ULV insecticides for the control of mosquitoes and flies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, camouflage netting treated with bifenthrin significantly decreased mosquito and fly populations in areas where the netting was deployed. Laboratory tests indicated that the treated netting was still effective 18 months after the initial application. Novel spatial repellent appliqu├ęs that contained either nepetalactone or rosemary oil where shown to be effective at suppressing the ability of mosquitoes to find attractive odors.


4. Accomplishments


Review Publications
Xue, R., Muller, G.C., Kline, D.L., Barnard, D.R. 2011. Effect of application rate and persistence of boric acid sugar baits applied to plants control of Aedes albopictus. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 27(1):56-60.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of species in tribe Culicini with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs (Diptera: Culicidae). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:175-181.

Muller, G.C., Junnila, A., Qualls, W., Revay, E.E., Kline, D.L., Allan, S.A., Schlein, Y., Xue, R. 2010. Control of Culex quinquefasciatus in a storm drain system in Florida with attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 24:346-351. DOI: 10.1111/J.1365-2915.2010.00876.X.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs - Summary. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:182-186.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of first-instar larvae. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:194-207.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of second- and third-instar larvae. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:230-239.

Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K., Wynn, W.W., Walker, T.W., Farooq, M., Smith, V.L., Robinson, C.A., Lothrop, B.B., Snelling, M., Gutierrez, A., Lothrop, H.D. 2010. Residual mosquito barrier treatments on U.S. military camouflage netting in a southern California desert environment. Military Medicine. 175(8):599-606.

Mohammed, H., Ramos, M., Armstrong, J., Lewis, K.O., Ayala, A., Clark, G.G., Tull, E.S., Beatty, M.E. 2010. An outbreak of dengue fever in St. Croix (U. S. Virgin Islands), 2005. PLoS One. 5(10):e13729. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013729.

Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K., Wynn, W.W., Walker, T.W., Farooq, M., Smith, V.L., Robinson, C.A., Lothrop, B.B., Snelling, M., Gutierrez, A., Lothrop, H.D., Kerce, J.D., Becnel, J.J., Bernier, U.R., Wei Pridgeon, Y. 2010. Evaluation of ULV and thermal fog mosquito control applications in temperate and desert environments. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 26(2):183-197.

Frances, S.P., Sithiprasasna, R., Linthicum, K. 2011. Laboratory evaluation of the response of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus uninfected and infected with dengue virus to deet. Journal of Medical Entomology. 48(2):334-336.

Liu, B., Becnel, J.J., Zhang, Y., Zhou, L. 2011. Defensive reaper - Induction of mx and Apoptosis in mosquito midgut cells as an innate immune response to baculovirus infection. Cell Death and Differentiation. 18:1337-1345. DOI: 10.1038/CDD.2011.8.

Clark, G.G., Rubio-Palis, Y. 2010. Mosquito vector biology and control in Latin America - a 20TH symposium. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 26(3):306-320.

Linthicum, K., Anyamba, A., Gay, C.G., Britch, S.C., Chretien, J., Witt, C., Small, J., Tucker, C.J., Bennett, K.E., Wilson, W.C., Turell, M.J. 2009. Rift Valley Fever Overview and Recent Developments at USDA. United States Animal Health Association Proceedings. 112:256-265.

Tabanca, N., Demirci, B., Gurbuz, I., Demirci, F., Becnel, J.J., Wedge, D.E., Baser, K. 2011. Essential oil composition of five collections of Achillea biebersteinii from central Turkey and their antifungal and insecticidal activity. Natural Product Communications. 6(5):701-706.

Alphey L., Benedict M., Bellini R., Clark G.G., Dame D.A., Service M.W., Dobson S.L. 2010. Sterile-insect methods for control of mosquito-borne diseases - an analysis. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases. 10(3):295-311.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Comparative anatomyi of the female genitalia of generic-level taxa in tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae). Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 36(3):1-11.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Comparative anatomy of the female genitalia of generic-level taxa in tribe Aedini (Diptera: Culicidae). Part XXXVII. Genus Bifidistylus Reinert, Harbach and Kitching. Contributions of the American Entomological Institute. 36(3):23-34.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of aedine species with published illustrations and/or descriptions of female genitalia (Diptera: Culicidae: Aedini). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:1-3.

Cantrell, C.L., Wei Pridgeon, Y., Fronczek, F.R., Becnel, J.J. 2010. Structure-Activity Relationship Studies on Natural Eremophilanes from Inula helenium as Toxicants Against Aedes aegypti Larvae and Adults. Chemistry and Biodiversity. 7:1681-1697.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species of the tribe Sabethini (Diptera: Culicidae: Culicinae) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of female genitalia. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:59-63.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species of subfamily Anophelinae (Diptera: Culicidae) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of female genitalia. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:93-97.

Katritzky, A.R., Wang, Z., Slavov, S., Dobchev, D.A., Hall, C.D., Tsikolia, M., Bernier, U.R., Elejalde, N.M., Clark, G.G., Linthicum, K.J. 2010. Novel carboxamides as potential mosquito repellents. Journal of Medical Entomology. 47(5):924-938. DOI: 10.1603/ME09284.

Anyamba, A., Linthicum, K., Small, J., Britch, S.C., Pak, E., De La Rocque, S., Formenty, P., Hightower, A.W., Breiman, R., Chretien, J., Tucker, C.J., Schnabel, D., Sang, R., Haagsma, K., Latham, M., Lewandowski, H.B., Osman Magdi, S., Mohamed, M., Nguku, P.M., Reynes, J., Swanepoel, R. 2010. Prediction, Assessment of the Rift Valley fever Activity in East and Southern Africa 2006 - 2008 and Possible Vector Control Strategies. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 83(2):43-51.

Harvey, W.R., Okech, B.A., Linser, P.J., Becnel, J.J., Ahearn, G.A., Sterling, K.M. 2010. H+ V-ATPase-Energized Transporters in Brush Border Membrane Vesicles from Whole Larvae of Aedes Aegypti. Journal of Insect Physiology. 56:1377-1389.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of anopheline species with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs (Diptera: Culicidae: Anophelinae). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:103-142.

Tabanca, N., Bernier, U.R., Tsikolia, M., Becnel, J.J., Sampson, B.J., Werle, C.T., Demrici, B., Baser, K., Blythe, E.K., Pounders Jr, C.T., Wedge, D.E. 2010. Eupatorium capillifolium essential oil: chemical composition, antifungal activity and insecticidal activity. Natural Product Communications. 5(9):1409-1415.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species in tribes Toxorhynchitini and Uranotaeniini with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs (Diptera: Culicidae). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:157-161.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species in tribes Aedeomyiini and Culisetini with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs (Diptera: Culicidae). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:167-170. ISSN1460-6127.

Coy, M.R., Salem, T.Z., Denton, J.S., Kovaleva, E.S., Liu, Z., Barber, D.S., Campbell, J.H., Davis, D.C., Buchman, G.W., Boucias, D.G., Scharf, M.E. 2010. Phenol-oxidizing laccases from the termite gut. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 40(10):723-732.

Wheeler, M.M., Tarver, M.R., Coy, M.R., Scharf, M.E. 2010. Characterization of four esterase genes and esterase activity from the gut of the termite Reticulitermes flavipes. Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 73(1):30-48.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. Species of Culicidae (Diptera) with published illustrations and/or descriptions of female genitalia - Summary. European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:98-100.

Reinert, J.F. 2010. List of species in tribe Mansoniini with published illustrations and/or descriptions of eggs (Diptera: Culicidae). European Mosquito Bulletin. 28:143-147. ISSN1460-6127.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page