Golf Course Management

JUL 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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07.19 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 73 Florida mosquitoes that can carry Zika virus and other diseases are showing resis- tance to pyrethroids — a common group of insecticides used to treat them — according to a new study by U.S. Department of Agri- culture scientists and their collaborators. •e mosquito Aedes aegypti, the main car- rier of dengue, Zika virus and yellow fever worldwide, is becoming more common in Florida. Limited Florida outbreaks of dengue in 2009-2010 and Zika in 2016 involved Ae. aegypti as the major disease carrier, accord- ing to James Becnel, an entomologist in the Mosquito and Fly Research Unit with the USDA Agricultural Research Service Cen- ter for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology. During public health emergencies, multi- ple strategies are used to control mosquitoes, including application of pesticide sprays by truck or aircraft. Understanding the magni- tude of insecticide resistance is critical to an effective control program, Becnel said. A collaborative group from USDA-ARS, the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence, Florida Department of Agriculture and Con - sumer Services and Florida mosquito control districts published the first statewide study measuring the scope of pyrethroid insecticide resistance in Ae. aegypti and Aedes albopictus, another local species that is a known carrier of chikungunya virus. Pyrethroid insecticide resistance is common in Ae. aegypti in many locations worldwide and can adversely affect mosquito control operations, Becnel said. However, the resistance status of Aedes in Florida has largely gone unreported until now. •e four-year study, published in PLOS Ne - glected Tropical Diseases (https://journals.plos. org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal. pntd.0006544&utm_medium=email&utm _source=govdelivery), shows that resistance to permethrin — an insecticide in the pyrethroid family — was present in all 20 Ae. aegypti strains collected from around the state. Impor- tantly, permethrin doses up to 60 times above susceptible levels were required to effectively control some resistant populations, according to Becnel. In contrast, Ae. albopictus strains collected did not show permethrin resistance. •e study found a strong correlation be- tween the actual resistance status of adult Ae. aegypti (determined by topical application) and the mosquito genotype. •is data can be used to rapidly predict pyrethroid-resistance in mosquitoes within 24 hours by detecting certain genetic mutations. •is information, Becnel said, can then inform control districts as to whether they need to try other control strategies, such as using larvicides to target immature aquatic mosquito life stages before they become adults. •ese findings also allow scientists and control districts to be more thoughtful in selecting effective control methods for mos - quito populations that are resistant to py- rethroids. •e research also emphasizes the need for resistance testing in any effective mosquito management program. Sandra Avant is a public affairs specialist for the Agricul- tural Research Service Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Beltsville, Md. Cuphea oil chemical repels pests Jan Suszkiw Mosquitoes, ticks and biting flies can put a real damper on summer fun, whether you're barbecuing in the backyard or spending a day at the beach. Spraying skin and clothing with insecti- cide ingredients like DEET can repel these pests and diminish their potential to trans- mit diseases. Some consumers, though, are wary of using such chemicals. Instead, they might opt for plant-based repellents, like pi- caridin, a compound in black pepper. Now, the seeds of a purple-flowered an- nual known as cuphea could be the source of another insect repellent. Agricultural Re- search Service scientists are researching ways to grow the plant commercially as a new oil- seed crop for farmers in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states. Mike Jackson and Steve Cermak, chem- ists with ARS's National Center for Agri- cultural Utilization Research in Peoria, Ill., ARS chemist Mike Jackson observes flowering cuphea plants growing at the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utiliza- tion Research in Peoria, Ill. He and his colleagues adapted a process for converting fatty acids from cuphea oil into an insect repellent that worked as well as or better than DEET in preliminary trials. Photo by Janine E. Donahue, USDA Agricultural Research Service (D4033-1)

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