Without adequate controls, female mosquitoes are left to breed unchecked, sucking blood to nourish their eggs. And in seeking out that blood, “mosquitoes are very good at transmitting viruses to humans,” explains Catherine Hill, a professor of medical entomology at Purdue University. When a mosquito bites a virus-infected person, the virus can invade, replicate in, and infect the insect’s salivary glands. “The next time the mosquito takes a human blood meal, it passes along the virus to other humans,” Hill says. A mosquito can take multiple bites before laying its eggs. Because of concerns over Zika in the U.S., “there will be public pressure to increase spraying for mosquitoes,” predicts entomologist Joe Conlon, technical adviser for the American Mosquito Control Association, which represents mosquito control experts.
by Marc S. Reisch |
February 23, 2016