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Improving Management of Insects of Public Health Significance in Kentucky
Department of Entomology
The appearance of West Nile Virus a few years ago demonstrated that Kentucky is poorly prepared to deal with a significant mosquito-borne disease threat. Other, more serious, threats are likely to appear in Kentucky within the next few years.
In spite of current threats, we lack sufficient understanding of the biology and distribution of vector species in the state. We need better management techniques, improved surveillance systems, and thorough understanding of all available control measures.
All of this information must be integrated into computer models that enable us to predict vector populations and to prescribe management tactics that are efficacious, yet also sound economically and environmentally. This project attempts to fill those needs.
2011 Project Description
This project led in an emergency response for western Kentucky during 2011 following historic floods, particularly along the Mississippi River. The response involved extensive mosquito surveillance throughout the region, aerial application of adulticide to > 700,000 A of urban, rural. agricultural, forest, and wetland areas. Extensive reporting has been made to the Office of the Governor, public media, and professional society meetings.
The project reduced mosquito biting rates (personally measured by the PI) from > 30/min in suburban areas near Cadiz and Murray, KY to under 3/min following adulticide use in May, 2011. A subsequent larvicide program kept the biting rates below 5/min for June and July. The larvicide and surveillance programs were discontinued in late July, 2011, after it was determined that mosquito populations were back to normal.