TTU research group working to control mosquito resistance

TTU research to control mosquitoes

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Texas Tech research group is going the extra mile against mosquitoes by testing different mosquito eggs from around the state to make sure these bugs are not developing a resistance to commonly used pesticides.

The point of this research is ensure that mosquitoes who carry diseases like the West Nile and Zika virus aren't becoming resistant towards the insecticides we use to battle them, but if they are, this research will show it so vector controls around the state can step up their game to limit these dangerous bugs.

"Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world because they pass down all different kinds of pathogens that cause human disease, from Malaria to Zika, and everything in between," Steve Presley, Chairman of the Department of Environmental Toxicology said.

This TTU research group has been studying mosquito patterns for years.

"The project is to see if these types of mosquitoes, which can transmit Zika and other viruses, to see if the insecticides we are using in Texas are still effective," Alexander Wilson-Fallon, grad student assistant researcher, said.

First, this group will send out kits to different Texas counties so they can gather and send back mosquito eggs. Then, the researchers will raise and test the bugs against different pesticides commonly used to gather data. This is done every year.

"We found out that a lot of mosquitoes are susceptible and that there were a handful of counties that we did see resistance in these mosquitoes, but what we are going to do is try and confirm that this year to see if there is any change in insecticide resistance," Wilson-Fallon said.

With this data presented by these researchers, vector controls around the state will know whether to keep using what they using against mosquitoes or to change it up. The goal of this Texas Tech research group is to test mosquito eggs from 50 different Texas counties. So far they've done 28 counties including, Lubbock.

So far these researchers say Lubbock's mosquitoes are not becoming resistant to the tested bug sprays, but you still have to protect yourself.

Steve Presley suggests you remember four easy tips: Drain any standing water, avoid being out at dusk and dawn, dress appropriately, and use bug repellant.

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