The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, was detected in a few locations in Canada and Washington State in 2019 and has been re-sighted in May 2020

(update May 28, 2020 – based on New York Times)

I just caught a huge insect in my yard, is it the “murder hornet“? (click on the link)

First, one request, please do not call it “murder hornet”. The dictionary definition of “murder” is to “kill unlawfully and with premeditation”, hornets will sting only in self-defense and in defense of the colony. The accepted common name of Vespa mandarinia is Asian giant hornet. Hornets are omnivores that kill other insects to feed themselves and the immatures in the colony. Click on the name if you want more information on this species and how it may have arrived in the US.

Photo credits: the Washington State Department of Agriculture

Citizen AcTS (Citizen Action Through Science)

In contrast with Citizen Science where residents help scientists develop research, Citizen Action through Science (Citizen AcTS) aims to provide communities with scientific support to solve local problems. Specifically since 2016 we have been developing and testing strategies for urban mosquito control. The results are extraordinarily encouraging and we are looking for other opportunities. To learn more about Citizen AcTS, please proceed to this website[Funding: Multistate ]

Integrated Strategies for tick and tick-borne disease surveillance

On May 4th, 2018 we ran a tick collection and identification workshop for professionals in NJ Mosquito Control Programs interested in obtaining information about ticks and tick-borne diseases. This training led to a NJ-wide simultaneous surveillance (a “Tick-Blitz”) on May 10th, 2018. Over 800 ticks were obtained from all 21 NJ counties. For more information contact Andrea Egizi and Jim Occi[Funding: NE IPM]

Insecticide Resistance Management Program for New Jersey

While insecticide resistance management (IRM) should be a fixture of all vector control programs, it is currently often absent from the strategic plans to control arboviruses. Experience from other public health disease vectors and agricultural pests underscore the need for urgent action in implementing IRM in invasive Aedes and Culex mosquitoes in NJ. As needed we will create and maintain susceptible colonies and provide support for county level IR testing including examining the molecular mechanisms of local IR. [Funding: NJ Office of Mosquito Control Commission – NJ DEP]

Worldwide Insectide Resistance Network (WIN)

The WIN brings together 19 internationally recognized institutions in vector research, providing a unique framework for tracking insecticide resistance in mosquito vectors of arboviruses around the world. The network aims to provide the WHO and member states with key recommendations for improvement of insecticide resistance surveillance and deployment of alternative vector control tools. To learn more about WIN please proceed to this website[Funding: WHO-TDR and CDC]


Group photo during the WIN workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Dec 5-6, 2016)

Management of the Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Areawide Management of the Asian tiger mosquito (2008-2013) was the first areawide program focused on a disease vector. The project resulted in over 30 peer-reviewed publications and five Standard Operating Procedures and forms the basis of the current AMCA Best Practices for Integrated Mosquito Management. To learn more about the management of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, please proceed to this website.[Funding: Cooperative Agreement USDAARS-58-6615-8-105 between USDA-ARS and Rutgers University (PI: Dina Fonseca) and Cooperative Agreement USDAARS-58-6615-8-106 between USDA-ARS and Brandeis University (PI: Don Shepard)]. 

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