Research at UCI to Help Fight Dengue and Malaria

There has been some interesting and exciting research being done to help combat Dengue Fever and Malaria by controlling the mosquitos that carry those diseases. Geneticist Anthony James, from his laboratory on the UC Irvine Campus is a pioneer who is working on genetically altering Mosquitos so that they only reproduce sterile eggs.
He has also discovered a gene that only affects the wings of female mosquitos. This effectively genetically attacks a population of mosquitos so that females can’t fly and therefore cannot reproduce. His most intriguing work is on modifying malaria carrying mosquitos so that they knockout the parasite that causes malaria. This modification could be used to eradicate one of the most feared diseases in the world. There are some fears about what these modified mosquitos might do in the environment and what affect the eradication of mosquitos might bring but these diseases do kill more than 1 million people annually. This research could eventually be used to eliminate dangerous mosquitos, even those here in Orange County, without using pesticides. Enjoy much more information in this article entitled Weaponizing Mosquitos to fight Tropical Diseases.

Orange County Ant Treatment will be a changin'

UC Riverside is engaged in some preliminary research into new ways to control Argentine Ants. Argentine Ants are the primary pest ant species in Orange County. With many new Federal and State restrictions to begin this summer on how Professionals, and do-it-yourselfers, can utilize pesticide, new treatment methods must be developed.
It is the industries desire to reduce pesticide runoff into our local waterways. This research should help us find ways to both maximize control, while also minimizing runoff. We will be watching the results of this study and hoping for new, effective means to control these voracious home invaders.

The researchers will be both determining the severity of ant problems on the property and testing the effect of different methods of treatment. They will use a series of sugar water monitors to determine the severity of infestation. Then they will test different types of treatments on hones and gauge how effective they were. They will also use acceptable methods for determining how much pesticide escapes as runoff. These tests will be valuable to all Pest Management Professionals (PMPs) and can also benefit our customers. Let’s see what they bring us!

First Citrus Now Avocados

Recently we talked about the Asian Citrus Psyllid and how it could potentially wipe out all the citrus in all the backyards of Southern California and severely threaten the Commercial Citrus industry here in Southern California.
Now, another threat has emerged, another non-native bug has been carelessly introduced into our environment and it is threatening all the Avocado trees in the area. The Tea Shot Hole Borer has been found in residential Avocado trees, as well as castor bean and maple, in La Habra Heights, the birthplace of the Hass Avocado, and numerous surrounding cities.
Many of the areas that are affected are already under a 2009 quarantine order for Psyllids and additional quarantines for the Tea Shot Borer could be coming soon. The first confirmed case was in South Gate but the beetle can fly up to half a mile in search of a tree to infest. So far this invasive species has been found in such diverse areas as Hacienda Heights, Avocado Heights, Downey, La Habra, Long Beach, South Gate and Whittier. Little is known about the beetle and there is no known treatment that will save the tree once it is infested. Akif Eskalen, professor of plant pathology at UC Riverside is currently working on how to stop and control this Pest with the help of Richard Stouthamer a professor from UCR's Entomology Department. Read more: Exotic Asian beetle threatens California avocado industry - Whittier Daily News