Biters without borders
Disease-carrying pests such as ticks and mosquitoes are threats to human and livestock health. Treating infections is costly, and many of the diseases spread by these pests have no vaccine or treatment available. That’s why land-grant universities across the country are collaborating to reduce threats using prevention rather than treatment.
To protect public health, researchers are collaborating to monitor ticks and mosquitoes, predict disease outbreaks and dictate effective control strategies, which make it possible for communities to safely enjoy the outdoors. For example, many studies focused on refining strategies to combat ticks, mosquitoes and the pathogens they carry. One study showed that the combination of rodent bait boxes and the fungus Metarhizium anisopliae reduces blacklegged tick nymph numbers by 78% to 95%.
Rutgers University scientists designed an urban mosquito control program in cooperation with residents. This approach built trust and gave the community ownership. A Maryland town that tested this approach had 80% of residents deploy traps and a 76% reduction in mosquito biting. In addition, team members created fact sheets for the public, led workshops on mosquito surveillance and testing techniques and compiled a database of courses and tools.
Link to full statement on website: https://www.mrfimpacts.org/single-post/2020/08/07/Managing-Ticks-Mosquitoes-NE1443-2014-2019