Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology

Gainesville, FL, United States

Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology

Gainesville, FL, United States

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PubMed | University of Florida, Anastasia Mosquito Control District, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Johns Hopkins University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2017

Dual attractant toxic sugar baits (D-ATSB) containing two host kairomones, L-lactic (LA) and 1-octen-3-ol (O), and fruit-based attractants were evaluated through olfactory, consumption and mortality, and semi-field experiments to determine if host kairomones could first, enhance attraction of a fruit-based (attractant) toxic sugar bait (ATSB), and second, increase the efficacy of a fruit based attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB).Four combinations of LA and O were incorporated into the ATSB and evaluated in an olfactometer to determine if these combinations could enhance attraction of Aedes aegypti (L.) to the bait. Ae. albopictus (Skuse) and Ae. aegypti were used to determine bait consumption through excrement droplet counts and percent mortality, of the most attractive D-ATSB (1% LA and 1% O) from the olfactory study. Semi-field evaluations were conducted in screened portable field cages to determine if the D-ATSB applied to non-flowering plants controlled more mosquitoes than the fruit-based ATSB, and ASB. Mosquitoes were exposed to D-ATSB and the two controls for 48h and collected with BGS traps. The catch rates of the BGS traps were compared to determine efficacy of the D-ATSB.During olfactometer evaluations of D-ATSB, Ae. aegypti mosquitoes were more attracted to 1% LA and 1% O compared to the fruit-based toxic sugar bait alone. Both species of mosquito consumed more fruit-based non-toxic bait (ASB) and ATSB than the D-ATSB. For both species, percent mortality bioassays indicated D-ATSB controlled mosquitoes, as compared to non-toxic control, but not more than the fruit based ATSB. Semi-field evaluations, BioGents sentinel traps at 48h confirmed that ATSB (positive control) controlled Ae. albopictus, but there was no statistical difference between ASB (negative control) and the D-ATSB. No differences were observed between the mosquitoes caught in any of the experimental formulations for Ae. aegypti.L-lactic (1%) and 1-octen-3-ol (1%) added to a fruit-based sugar bait increased attraction of Ae. aegypti and may have future implications in mosquito trapping devices. The addition of the host kairomones did not enhance the consumption and efficacy of the ATSB in laboratory or semi-field evaluations for both mosquito species. We attribute to the absence of other host cues leading to lack of alighting onto bait surfaces to imbibe the toxic bait, as well as a possible decrease in palatability of the bait caused by the addition of the host kairomones.


PubMed | Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Miami, SNSB Zoologische Staatssammlung Munich, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology and 4 more.
Type: | Journal: Parasites & vectors | Year: 2015

The persistence and geographical expansion of leishmaniasis is a major public health problem that requires the development of effective integrated vector management strategies for sand fly control. Moreover, these strategies must be economically and environmentally sustainable approaches that can be modified based on the current knowledge of sand fly vector behavior. The efficacy of using attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB) for sand fly control and the potential impacts of ATSB on non-target organisms in Morocco was investigated.Sand fly field experiments were conducted in an agricultural area along the flood plain of the Ourika River. Six study sites (600 m x 600 m); three with sugar rich (with cactus hedges bearing countless ripe fruits) environments and three with sugar poor (green vegetation only suitable for plant tissue feeding) environments were selected to evaluate ATSB, containing the toxin, dinotefuran. ATSB applications were made either with bait stations or sprayed on non-flowering vegetation. Control sites were established in both sugar rich and sugar poor environments. Field studies evaluating feeding on vegetation treated with attractive (non-toxic) sugar baits (ASB) by non-target arthropods were conducted at both sites with red stained ASB applied to non-flowering vegetation, flowering vegetation, or on bait stations.At both the sites, a single application of ATSB either applied to vegetation or bait stations significantly reduced densities of both female and male sand flies (Phlebotomus papatasi and P. sergenti) for the five-week trial period. Sand fly populations were reduced by 82.8% and 76.9% at sugar poor sites having ATSB applied to vegetation or presented as a bait station, respectively and by 78.7% and 83.2%, respectively at sugar rich sites. The potential impact of ATSB on non-targets, if applied on green non-flowering vegetation and bait stations, was low for all non-target groups as only 1% and 0.7% were stained with non-toxic bait respectively when monitored after 24 hours.The results of this field study demonstrate ATSB effectively controls both female and male sand flies regardless of competing sugar sources. Furthermore, ATSB applied to foliar vegetation and on bait stations has low non-target impact.


News Article | November 3, 2015
Site: phys.org

This is the in-lab setup of the mimicry device. Credit: Mankin/USDA When a male Asian Citrus Psyllid is looking for a mate, he situates himself on a twig, buzzes his wings to send vibrations along adjacent leaves and branches, and listens for a female's response call. If the call comes, he travels in her direction, the abbreviated insect version of courtship ensues, and two to seven weeks later, scores of psyllids nymphs emerge from their eggs, feed on phloem sap, and mature into adults who head out into the world, ravaging untold numbers of citrus trees in the process. The pest is loathed by orange farmers, not because of the direct damage the insects cause, but because they spread an even more pernicious foe: a rod-shaped bacteria called Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. The bacteria cause a disease called citrus greening that turns the trees' leaves a sickly yellow and makes the fruit bitter and stunted. There is no cure, and the infected trees usually die within a few years. To halt the spread of the disease—which was responsible for an estimated $3.63 billion in lost revenue from orange juice for the state of Florida from 2006-2012—researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and University of Florida (UF) are developing vibration traps that hijack psyllid mating calls to locally bring their populations under control. "The route I'm trying to take is looking at disrupting mating and putting out signals that either outcompete the females and bring males to a trapping system, or just make it difficult for males and females to communicate with each other," said Richard Mankin, a research entomologist at the USDA's Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Fla. A collaborator on this project, Barukh Rohde, is a Ph.D. student in the UF Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The researchers will discuss the construction and operation of their device, which contains a piezoelectric buzzer and a microphone wired to a microcontroller, at the 170th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), held Nov. 2-6 in Jacksonville, Fla. Mankin's previous work at the USDA involved using acoustic methods to find hidden infestations of insects, such as rice weevils inside grain kernels. This brought him to an interest in hemipteran insects, so called "true bugs," he said, due to their use of acoustic communication and their recent resurgence as pests due to the gradual phasing out of pesticide use after the introduction of Bt corn, a popular genetically modified maize variant that is toxic to most lepidopteran (moth) pests. "The moth pests aren't around anymore, but the hemipteran insects that used to be controlled also by the pesticides are still present, so we're looking at other options for controlling hemipteran like psyllids that use vibrations in their communication mating system," he said. Although pesticides had been phased out in citrus growing years prior, due to health concerns, Mankin said, "all that changed when we had to really dig down and do multiple sprayings each year to keep down the psyllids populations so that we could get an orange crop—and we're trying to still develop new ways to solve the problems—because we're anticipating in a few years that the psyllids will become resistant to the current pesticides." Out in the mid-day heat of the orange groves—the psyllids are most active between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.—the male psyllids channel their wing vibrations down their legs and out through adjacent twigs and leaves. If a nearby female is interested, she'll reply back within a third to a half of a second. Within this window, the researchers' microphone detects the incoming male call and the microcontroller sends out a female response call through the piezoelectric buzzer before any neighboring psyllids can. When the male draws closer, he gets snagged and immobilized on an adhesive surface, from where he can be collected during periodic trap inspections. While the device hasn't yet been tested extensively out in the field, Mankin estimates that each device would be effective over a range of two feet in a citrus tree, with a cost of construction between $50-100, including the cost of the microcontrollers, which are bought from a company called Arduino that uses open source code. Ongoing work for Mankin and his colleagues involves incorporating better "speech" identification algorithms into the software and reducing the system's response time, as well as finding ways to cut the cost of the final device. In addition, studies are in progress to optimize signals that disrupt communication across the trees. "If you can target low populations and treat just the isolated populations, the costs are quite a bit lower, and there's less environmental damage," he said. Explore further: Psyllid identification key to area-wide control of citrus greening spread


Zettel Nalen C.M.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Allan S.A.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Becnel J.J.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Kaufman P.E.,University of Florida
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2013

The impact of the presence of larval mosquito pathogens with potential for biological control on oviposition choice was evaluated for three mosquito species/pathogen pairs present in Florida. These included Aedes aegypti infected with Edhazardia aedis, Aedes albopictus infected with Vavraia culicis, and Culex quinquefasciatus infected with Culex nigripalpus nucleopolyhedrovirus (CuniNPV). Two-choice oviposition bioassays were performed on each host and pathogen species with one oviposition cup containing infected larvae and the other cup containing uninfected larvae (control). Both uninfected and E. aedis-infected female Ae. aegypti laid significantly fewer eggs in oviposition cups containing infected larvae. Uninfected gravid female Ae. albopictus and Cx. quinquefasciatus oviposited equally in cups containing uninfected larvae or containing larvae infected with V. culicis or CuniNPV, respectively. Gravid female Ae. albopictus infected with V. culicis did not display ovarian development and did not lay eggs. The decreased oviposition by gravid Ae. aegypti in containers containing E. aedis-infected larvae may indicate that the infected larvae produce chemicals deterring oviposition. © 2013 The Society for Vector Ecology.


Revay E.E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Kline D.L.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Xue R.-D.,Anastasia Mosquito Control District | Qualls W.A.,Anastasia Mosquito Control District | And 5 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2013

The present study assessed the personal protection efficiency of seven commercially available mosquito control devices (MCD) under field conditions in Israel. Trials were performed in a high biting-pressure area inhabited by large populations of mosquito and biting midge species, using human volunteers as bait in landing catch experiments. Results show that under minimal air-movement, three spatial repellent based products (ThermaCELL® Patio Lantern, OFF!® PowerPad lamp, and Terminix® ALLCLEAR Tabletop Mosquito Repeller) significantly reduced the biting-pressure (t-test - P<0.01) when positioned at short distances from a volunteer (3, 7.5, and 10ft.), with the ThermaCELL unit being most effective (96.1, 89.9, and 76.66% reduction, respectively). No significant differences were seen between the three aforementioned devices at distances of 3 and 7.5ft., while at a distance of 10ft., only the ThermaCELL patio lantern repelled significantly more mosquitoes then the Terminix ALLCLEAR Tabletop Mosquito Repeller (t-test, P<0.05). In contrast, mosquito traps using attracting cues to bait mosquitoes (Dynatrap®, Vortex® Electronic Insect Trap, Blue Rhino® SV3100) either significantly increased or had no effect on the biting-pressure at short distances compared with the unprotected control. Trials conducted over large areas showed that only the Blue Rhino trap was able to significantly reduce the biting-pressure (40.1% reduction), but this was only when operating four units at the corners of an intermediate sized area. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Muller G.C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Revay E.E.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | Hogsette J.A.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Kline D.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | And 2 more authors.
Acta Tropica | Year: 2012

During a 20-year survey we routinely collected Tabanidae in the Sinai resulting in a checklist of 22 species. We recorded 2 species for the Levant (Tabanus mordax Austen, 1911 and Tabanus gratus Loew, 1858), 4 species for Egypt (Nemorius irritans (Ricardo, 1901), Chrysops flavipes Meigen, 1804, Haematopota coronata Austen, 1908 and Haematopota pallens Loew, 1871), 5 species for the Sinai (Atylotus farinosus (Szilády, 1915), Tabanus arenivagus Austen, 1920, Tabanus autumnalis Linnaeus, 1761, Haematopota minuscula Austen, 1920 and Dasyrhamphis nigritus Fabricius, 1794) for the first time and confirmed one doubtful record for the Sinai (Tabanus albifacies Loew, 1856). Furthermore we collected 10 more species that were previously known or could be presumed from the Sinai. The status of 4 species (Atylotus pallescens (Walker, 1871), Tabanus unifasciatus Loew, 1858, Tabanus politus (Walker, 1871) and Tabanus terminalis Walker, 1871) doubtfully recorded from the Sinai is discussed. For most of the 22 species, apart from zoogeographical notes, host and ecological observations are also given. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Junnila A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Kline D.L.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Muller G.C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2011

We tested the performance of ten commercial mosquito traps with varying attractive features, against three CDC traps (an unlit model 512, an incandescently lit model 512, and a UV lit model 1212) as well as simple sticky paper, for their ability to attract and capture Phlebotomus papatasi in Israel. The commercial traps tested were the Sentinel 360, the Combo Trap, the Mega Catch Premier, the Bug Eater, the EcoTrap, the Galaxie Power-Vac, the Biter Fighter, the Black Hole, the Mosquito Trap, the Mosquito Catcher, the Sonic Web, the Solar Pest Killer, and a Bug Zapper. The four best performing traps with the highest nightly catches were the Sentinel 360 (85.96 ±19.34), the Combo Trap (70.00±7.78), the Mega Catch Premier (51.93±1.82) and the UV lit CDC 1212 trap (47.64±3.43). Five traps, the Mosquito Trap, the Mosquito Catcher, the Sonic Web, the Solar Pest Killer, and the Bug Zapper, performed exceptionally poorly, catching an average of less than two sand flies per day. To our knowledge, this is the first comprehensive attempt to evaluate commercial traps for their effectiveness in catching sand flies, and we show here that some traps that have been effective in catching mosquitoes are also effective in catching sand flies. © 2011 The Society for Vector Ecology.


Kline D.L.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Muller G.C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Hogsette J.A.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2011

In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of eleven commercial models of propane combustion traps for catching male and female Phlebotomus papatasi. The traps differed in physical appearance, amount of carbon dioxide produced and released, type and location of capturing device, and the method by which the trap suction fans were powered. The traps tested were the Mosquito Magnet™(MM)-Pro, MM-Liberty, MM-Liberty Plus, MM-Defender, SkeeterVac®(SV)-35, SV-27, Mosquito Deleto™(MD)-2200, MD-2500, MT150-Power Trap, and two models of The Guardian Mosquito Traps (MK-01 and MK-12). All trap models except the SV-35, the SV-27, the MD-2500, and the MK-12 attracted significantly more females than males. The SV-35 was the most efficient trap, catching significantly more females than all the other models. The MD-2200 and MK-12 models were the least effective in catching either female or male sand flies. These data indicate that several models of propane combustion traps might be suitable substitutes for either CO2-baited or unbaited light traps for adult sand fly surveillance tools. One advantageous feature is the traps' ability to remain operational 24/7 for ca. 20 days on a single tank of propane. Additionally, the models that produce their own electricity to power the trap's fans have an important logistical advantage in field operations over light traps, which require daily battery exchange and charging. © 2011 The Society for Vector Ecology.


Kline D.L.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Hogsette J.A.,Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology | Muller G.C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Journal of Vector Ecology | Year: 2011

We conducted two experiments to determine the best CDC-trap configuration for catching male and female Phlebotomus papatasi. First, visual features were evaluated. Standard CDC traps were modified to have black or white catch bags, black or white lids, or no lids and these were tried in different combinations. Significantly more male sand flies were caught by darker traps; significantly more females were captured by traps with either all black or a combination of black and white features. Attraction may be due to dark color or contrast in colors. CDC traps with suction and the following features were also evaluated: no light; incandescent light; ultraviolet (UV) light; combination of black color, heat and moisture; CO2 alone, or a combination of black color, heat, moisture, and CO2 simultaneously, all in upright and inverted positions, with the opening for insect entry always 50 cm above the ground. Significantly more females than males were caught by all traps (standard and inverted) except the control traps with suction only. Traps with CO2 caught more sand flies than traps without CO2. Traps with black color, heat and moisture captured significantly more sand flies than the control traps, but with the addition of CO2, these traps catch significantly more sand flies than the other traps evaluated. Inverting traps increased the catch for like traps by about two times. © 2011 The Society for Vector Ecology.


PubMed | Anastasia Mosquito Control District, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology and University of Miami
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta tropica | Year: 2015

In this study, 27 CDC traps were modified with various attractive features and compared with a CDC trap with no light source or baits to evaluate the effects on attraction to Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) north of the Dead Sea near Jericho. Attractive features included CO2, lights, colored trap bodies, heat, moisture, chemical lures and different combinations of the same. Traps were placed 20m apart and rotated from one trap location to the next after 24h trapping periods. The most significant attractive feature was CO2, which attracted more sand flies than any other feature evaluated. Ultraviolet light was the next most attractive feature, followed by incandescent light. When evaluated alone, black or white trap bodies, heat and moisture, all influenced trap catch but effects were greater when these attractive features were used together. The results of this study suggest that traps with CO2 and UV light could be used in batteries as control interventions if suitable CO2 sources become available.

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