The impending introduction of West Nile (WN) virus into California has heightened our need to improve control of mosquito disease vectors in the state. Since the virus was first detected in New York in 1999, it has spread rapidly westward across the USA. Vertebrates susceptible to the virus become infected via the bite of mosquitoes. In 2002 in the U.S., 201 humans and over 13,000 birds (mainly crows) died and over 3,300 humans and 9,000 horses became ill from WN virus infections. No vaccine is available for humans, and our best line of defense against this virus is by control of mosquito vector populations. AES assistant professor Anthony Cornel of UC Davis led research that detected resistance in California mosquito populations to currently used pesticides. Mosquito abatement personnel are now aware of this and have focused more on applications of rotations and mosaics of pesticides to mitigate further spread of resistance. Cornel and ANR GIS analyst Kris Lynn designed a Geographic Information System (GIS) interface for control of mosquitoes in mosquito abatement districts.
Read about: More Efficient Mosquito Control