Could scientific findings bring about new technologies for future mosquito control in Jacksonville and throughout the world?
You can put this in the category of “Now I’ve heard everything” when it comes to that dreaded mosquito population needing professional mosquito control.
A University of California, Riverside, genetic discovery could turn disease-carrying mosquitoes into insect Peter Pans, preventing them from ever maturing or multiplying. Huh. Go figure.
A few years ago in 2018, University entomologist Naoki Yamanaka found, contrary to accepted scientific wisdom, that an important steroid hormone requires transporter proteins to enter or exit fruit fly cells. The hormone, ecdysone, is called the "molting hormone." Without it, flies will never mature, or reproduce.
And when it comes to mosquito control, you have to admit that sounds pretty, darn good.
Before Yamanaka‘s discovery, textbooks taught that ecdysone travels freely across cell membranes, slipping past them with ease. "We now know that's not true," Yamanaka said.
Why ecdysone is important when discussing mosquito control.
Every insect species requires ecdysone for some aspect of their journey from egg to offspring-producing adult. And every insect that Yamanaka has tested also possesses the ecdysone transporter that he found 4 years ago, plus a few more found in a new study. But in this new study, he found mosquitoes to be different.
Mosquitoes have only three of the four transporter proteins that fruit flies possess. They lack the most important, primary ecdysone transporter.
"This primary one is somehow, mysteriously, missing in mosquitoes," Yamanaka said.
The discovery opens the door to a mosquito-specific insecticide that would not harm beneficial bees or other pollinators. It would, however, affect mosquitoes like the ones used in the study, Aedes aegypti, which spread Zika, dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and other viruses. And for mosquito haters like most of us, that is tremendous news on the mosquito control front.
You Don’t Have to Wait for Targeted, Effective Jacksonville Mosquito Control
The future of mosquito control science is – well, the future. What is of more interest to you now, is the current state of the most effective mosquito control measures you can employ for your family. Those measures include contacting Mosquito Squad of Northeast Florida to formulate a guaranteed protection plan to help prevent mosquito bites around your home.
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