mosquitoes

Cameron Simmons is far more familiar with dengue than he would like to be.

"I've had dengue. My family's had dengue. It's a miserable, miserable experience," he says. "It's not one I'd ever want to repeat or have anyone else experience."

Andre Penner / AP

West Nile Virus was detected in chickens in Palm Beach County, so humans have to be extra careful to avoid mosquito bites.

A human being hasn’t had a reported case of the virus since 2011. But chicken flocks in the Belle Glade and Pahokee areas tested positive for it, and the health department is warning residents to guard themselves against bites.

Emily Michot Miami Herald

Mosquitoes, it turns out, might be their own worst enemy.

In a six-month field trial launched in South Miami last year, Miami-Dade County teamed up with a Kentucky-based pest control company to release male mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia. The bacteria is common in other insects, but when introduced in male Aedes aegypti, it makes them sterile.

Bruce Stevens / Florida Keys Mosquito Control District

Rainy season in South Florida means it's also mosquito season. And now there's a new weapon being added to the arsenal against the insects in the Florida Keys.

Creative Commons

Health officials in Florida have confirmed the state's first case of dengue this year.

The Florida Department of Health said in a news release on Monday that the case emerged in Miami-Dade County. The agency didn't identify the person or their condition.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that causes fever, severe headache, along with muscle and joint pain. There is no treatment or vaccine.

Kate Stein / WLRN

This year, Miami-Dade County's arsenal of mosquito-fighting technology includes traps, spraying backpacks -- and mosquito-eating fish. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lab-bred mosquitoes are flying in South Miami. It’s the latest effort to stop the type of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

Tracking some of the world's biggest killers, via cellphone

Dec 25, 2017

Over the last few years, Haripriya Mukundarajan has gotten intimately acquainted with the world’s most efficient serial killers.

“This is Anopheles gambiae, the most dangerous animal in the world,” she says, pulling up a recording of one flying around.

Oxitec

The company that wants to hold the first U.S. trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys and Keys residents who oppose the trial don't agree on much.

But representatives from both sides said Thursday they are happy with the recent announcement that federal oversight of the proposed trial will be moved from the Food and Drug Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"We think it's a good thing," said Derric Nimmo, principal scientist at Oxitec, the company that has developed a genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A chemical used for mosquito control in South Florida has been the source of controversy in recent weeks, after a study showed it could be linked to developmental delays in infants.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

While mainland South Florida ramps up its battle against the mosquito that can carry Zika, the Florida Keys has already begun the region's most intensive mosquito control operation.

Kyle Holsten / WLRN

When he had a landscaping business, Bob Hartmann grew 200,000 orchids and thousands of other plants on his three acres in Southwest Ranches, about 15 miles southwest of Fort Lauderdale.

 


Kyle Holsten / WLRN News

A federal judge has dismissed a request to stop aerial spraying of the pesticide Naled in Miami-Dade County, describing the plaintiffs' complaint as "poor" and recommending they get a lawyer before pursuing further legal action.

Logan Riely / Miami Herald

Last year, the pesticide Naled was one of several tools officials used to control mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus. Dr. Michael Hall was one of many Miami Beach residents who protested, saying Naled exposure leads to symptoms like headaches and nausea. He and other protesters also expressed fears the pesticide could have longer-term health effects.

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