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ARS Home » Plains Area » Kerrville, Texas » Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory » LAPRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #346794

Research Project: Management of Flies Associated with Livestock

Location: Livestock Arthropod Pests Research

Title: Responding to the screwworm outbreak on the Florida Keys

item Skoda, Steven
item WELCH, JOHN - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Phillips, Pamela

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: What a way to end an International Congress of Entomology! On September 30, 2016 an APHIS colleague, John Welch, and I received an e-mail with attached photographs of dead deer with suspected screwworm myiasis; some of the larvae were suspicious. Later that day the National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the samples as screwworm. After a hectic weekend of preparation, John and I arrived in Marathon, FL on October 3rd. The 4th was used familiarizing ourselves with the locale and personnel on Big Pine Key; we also saw our first infested deer. Using putrid liver and sweep nets, we then sampled for screwworm adults on the 5th; within an hour we collected a female. Larval samples were collected from affected animals for DNA analyses. Samples from five animals were reared to pupae, sent to the bio-secure ARS facility in Panama and a Florida outbreak line was developed. Coordinates from ARS colleague Pamela Phillips were used to place ground release chambers for sterile screwworm releases. The first sterile screwworms arrived from Panama on October 11th. Further liver trapping determined that thirteen Keys were infested; one case was reported at Homestead, FL (the mainland). Thirty four release stations were placed and about 208 million sterile flies were released; four of the chambers were around Homestead but no further cases were collected there. The final case of myiasis was reported on 6 January 2017. Sterile fly releases ended on 25 April 2017; passive surveillance will continue until October 2017.