An early warning system for the appearance of adult stable flies in the Midwestern U.S. where larval development sites are unknown. This system will be used to provide beef producers with advance notice of the need to protect their livestock. Left: Stable fly treated with red fluorescent maker. Photo by Jerry Hogsette.
Chemicals from human skin that elicit anti-attractant activity in mosquitoes. Knowledge of the chemistry of these components is being used to design attractant-antagonist molecules that will "hide" host odors from blood sucking flies.
Pathogenic baculoviruses in Culex mosquitoes, such as those transmitting West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses. Unit scientists have determined how to kill the mosquitoes with the viruses. (patent pending) Left: Baculovirus micrograph by James Becnel
Some of the volatile organic compounds from human skin have been shown to be more attractive to mosquitoes than CO2. The availability of a CO2 substitute will make large-scale removal trapping and control programs feasible for many mosquito and biting fly species. Left: Glass beads pick up scents after being handled. The beads will be loaded into an instrument that separates and identifies compounds in the residue. Peggy Greb/ARS.
Methods for the diagnosis and control of microsporidian disease in commercially produced parasitic wasps that are used for the biological control of house flies. Disease control methods ensure a high quality supply of filth fly biological control agents for farmers and ranchers. Left: Mucidifurax raptor wasp on a fly puparium. Once the female chooses a suitable puparium host, she lays a single egg in it. The egg hatches, and the wasp larva feeds on the fly pupa. ARS Photo
Poultry farmers use a crawling insect barrier system called BEETLBAR? to prevent migrating litter beetles from destroying the structural wood and insulation in broiler/poultry houses. Litter beetles cause an average of $30,000 per house; annual losses in Georgia and Virginia alone are $9.8 and 15.9 million, respectively.
Cytogenetic, hybridization, electrophoretic, and recombinant DNA techniques have been used to determine the genetic structure of 5 sibling species of Anopheles quadrimaculatus,--the chief vector of malaria in the eastern, central and southern U.S.
The mosquito pathogen Edhazardia aedis. Plans are underway to use this microbe in a biological control project in Brazil in an effort to curb the spread of dengue fever by Aedes aegypti. Left: Micrograph of Edhazardia aedis microsporidia. Photo by James Becnel
The Dragonfly? trap from BioSensory, Inc. and the American BioPhysics Corporation's MosquitoMagnet? . These traps are in the marketplace as a result of the cooperative efforts between unit scientists and these private sector companies. [Below (Left) MosquitoMagnet? and (Right) Dragonfly? Traps] Images used with permission from manufacturers.