UCR Veterinary Entomology


Certification Program to Expand Response Capability for Vector-Borne Disease Outbreaks

By Alec Gerry | July 26, 2017

entomology today

Entomological Society of America will train and certify insect scientists to stand ready for CDC Emergency Response Teams

Soon, the public health community will be better equipped to respond to outbreaks of diseases spread by mosquitoes and other arthropod vectors, thanks to a contract awarded to the Entomological Society of America Certification Corporation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Over the course of the next year, the ESA Certification Corporation will train and certify approximately 30 entomologists to participate as entomological specialists on CDC Emergency Response Teams. Adding such expertise to the rapid-response groups will fill a critical void in the CDC’s capacity to guide vector control, an essential component of disease management.

“Medical and veterinary entomologists will ensure that outbreaks of vector-borne illnesses generate the needed entomological response to prevent further spreading of potentially harmful, and at times fatal, diseases—thus protecting public health,” says Zia Siddiqi, Ph.D., BCE, ESA Certification Corporation Board Chair.

Read more:  Entomologists on CDC Response Teams


Topics: Academic, Animal Disease, Announcements, Government Actions, Training and Workshops | No Comments »

Researchers Develop Improved Lab-Testing System for Mosquito Repellents

By Alec Gerry | June 6, 2017

entomology today

Among the processes by which researchers gauge the effectiveness of a mosquito repellent is one that depends on convincing a volunteer to shove an arm treated with the compound into a box and let the little bloodsuckers have a go at it. The system works well enough but, like all such assays, has limitations, not the least of which is finding volunteers. Due to odors and other variable skin characteristics, moreover, not all humans provoke the same response by mosquitoes, creating troublesome variabl

Another method uses a heat source to mimic a warm body and collagen membrane as a substitute for human skin, placed over a container holding human blood, within what amounts to a small plastic box. It is effective, but the small size of the module inhibits mosquito flight, an indicator of repellence, as well as the number of mosquitoes used during a test.

Read more:  Mosquito Repellent Test System

A&K bioassay system mosquito repellent testing

Topics: Academic, Industry News, New Products, pest management, Pesticide Information, publication | No Comments »

Prevent parasites in your poultry flock

By Alec Gerry | May 25, 2017

AgClips Image

Do you find yourself throwing away eggs after treating your flock for internal parasites? Although it’s nearly impossible to keep your chickens completely worm-free year-round, proper management can help prevent parasite issues in your flock.

Why should you care about worms in your birds?

Worm, or parasite, infestations can cause poor growth, decreased egg production and in severe cases, death. Internal parasites can also make a flock more susceptible to diseases or make existing diseases worse.[1]

Backyard birds can easily ingest internal parasite eggs while scratching the ground and foraging for bugs, including snails, slugs, grasshoppers, ants and earthworms. Insects can also harbor parasite eggs, which infect your birds when ingested.

If your birds are not behaving normally and seem distant from the rest of the flock, it could be a sign of parasites causing illness. Pay close attention to your birds for additional symptoms of internal parasites:

  • Appetite loss
  • Weight loss
  • Watery droppings
  • Dehydration
  • Hens stop laying
  • Separation from the rest of the flock
  • Balance and coordination loss due to weakness
  • Poor feather quality
  • Dull combs, wattles and eyes

– See more at: poultry parasites

Topics: Animal Disease, pest management | No Comments »

Fighting cattle fever tick

By Alec Gerry | May 23, 2017

AgClips Image

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging the immediate funding of up to $6 million to help offset the costs associated with eradicating cattle fever ticks and preventing the spread of this significant threat to the U.S. cattle industry.

USCA Animal Health Committee Chairman Dwight Keller issued the following statement:

“Since November, the presence of the fever tick has expanded beyond the Permanent Quarantine ‘Buffer Zone’ established between Mexico and the U.S. Costs associated with both treating the fever tick and preventing its spread have increased exponentially as producers find themselves in the path of an ever-expanding affected area.

Cattle Fever Tick is a horrible sight; you can’t miss the swarms of ticks covering an animal and it is easily spread throughout the herd. If an infected animal is found, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) treats the animal and works with its herd mates for a minimum of 6 to 8 months. This requires producers to gather their herd and provide the facilities needed to execute treatment, which equates to an undue financial burden on producers.

– See more at: https://www.morningagclips.com/fighting-cattle-fever-tick/?utm_content=articles&utm_campaign=NLCampaign&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=newsletteredition&utm_medium=email#sthash.ZUNB3HNw.dpuf


Topics: Animal Disease, Government Actions, Industry News, pest management | No Comments »

How Sex and Scientific Research Saved Your Steak Dinner (and Bambi) From the Screwworm Fly—Again

By Alec Gerry | May 18, 2017

entomology today

By Susan J. Weller, Ph.D., and Robert K.D. Peterson, Ph.D.

If there is one thing that we have learned from scientific research, it’s this: We cannot know where the next breakthrough will come from, but maintaining adequate funding for our nation’s scientific researchers is money well-spent. As an example, consider the screwworm fly in the Florida Keys.

For nearly 70 years, the U.S. federal government and international partners have been deploying a highly successful, if surprising, technique to deal with this devastating pest of cattle, pets, and other animals—releasing more screwworm flies. But the released flies are special; custom-reared in the lab to be sterile and so unable to mate or reproduce.

Though the name of the screwworm fly (Cochliomyia hominivorax) may sound silly, anyone who knows its potential damage isn’t laughing. Managing the ravages of this deadly pest used to cost ranchers hundreds of millions of dollars a year. These pests can deliver a gruesome and painful death to a full-grown cow in less than two weeks. The females lay their eggs in open wounds and, if left untreated, the maggots eat the living parts of the animal.

In the 1930s, two enterprising young U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists, Edward Knipling and Raymond Bushland, weren’t satisfied just treating symptoms. To control the problem, they had to focus more on the screwworms. Their idea was to find a way to sterilize promiscuous male screwworm flies and then release them in the wild, overwhelming the fertile native flies, and crashing the population. The problem was one of scale – how to mass-castrate enough flies to have an effect?


Read more:  screwworm fly


Topics: Academic, Animal Disease, Historical Information, pest management | No Comments »


By Alec Gerry | April 20, 2017





Many of you were likely present at the International Congress of Entomology to hear Anca Paslaru (of the Institute of Parasitology, National Center for Vector Entomology, Switzerland) present her recent research using MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry (MS) to identify Culicoides to species.  You may remember from Anca’s presentation that this method worked well for species that were collected in Switzerland (see Kaufmann et al. 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-246).   This method has also been recently applied to sand flies (Mathis et al., 2015; DOI: 10.1186/s13071-015-0878-2).  The MALDI-TOF MS is apparently commonly used in Europe and can provide accurate, fast, and relatively inexpensive identification of insects to species.  There is currently a growing database of publicly accessible species profiles using the MALDI-TOF MS (list of species available at http://mabritec.com/insects-id.html).

To support development of this database, we ask that you submit any Culicoides species that you can collect.  Please submit a minimum of 5 voucher specimens – same identified species from the same location. Retain specimens at 4 C in 70% EtOH or higher or frozen from collection until submission. To ship, place specimens of a single identified species into a 1.5 ml PCR tube in 70% or higher EtOH.  If shipping in EtOH is problematic, voucher specimens can be placed in the PCR tube on top of a small piece of tissue paper soaked with 100% EtOH to eliminate free EtOH in the tube.  Send via 2-3 day shipping to the address below. Of course there is no fee for testing the voucher specimens that would be used to expand the database. If you have questions or would like more information about this technique, Alexander is happy to provide further information (alexander.mathis@uzh.ch).

Ship voucher specimens to:

Dr. Alexander Mathis

National Centre for Vector Entomology

Institute of Parasitology

University of Zurich       

Winterthurerstr. 266A

8057 Zurich, Switzerland




Topics: Academic, Training and Workshops | No Comments »

Avian flu is part of the new poultry world

By Alec Gerry | April 17, 2017


After the U.S. lost 42 million birds, avian influenza may be here to stay and biosecurity needs to be reinforced with greater investment.

“No news is good news”. Chad Gregory, President and CEO, United Egg Producers, opened his presentation at the International Egg Commission (IEC) Business Conference in Monte Carlo, Monaco with these simple words describing the fact that there are no new reports of avian flu in the U.S. in the last few weeks.

In summation, since the 2014-2015 outbreak in the U.S., a total of 42 million birds were lost (36 million laying hens and between 5 million and 6 million pullets). The cost for the U.S. poultry industry was $1 billion for depopulation, disposal, and cleaning and disinfection.

“It was something we never want to repeat in the U.S.,” Gregory said.

Read more: Bird flu

Inghams Enterprises expansion

Topics: Animal Disease | No Comments »

Veterinary Entomologist John “Jack” Lloyd Passed Away

By Alec Gerry | April 3, 2017


Dr. John E. Lloyd September 28, 1940 to March 25, 2017 John E. (Jack) Lloyd was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania on September 28, 1940 to the late Earl Edward and Elizabeth Flynn Lloyd. His childhood was spent in Pennsylvania where he graduated from Munhall-Homestead High School and went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in Zoology from Penn State University. While interning at Penn State he met and married his loving wife Deanna (Dressler) Lloyd. He then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York where he earned his PhD in Toxicology. There, a daughter, Gwen (Lloyd) Johnson was born and several years later a son John E. Lloyd Jr. was born. Jack was an accomplished professor of livestock entomology and parasitology in the college of agriculture at the University of Wyoming. In his nearly 44 years of service he was a mentor to many graduate students and sponsored and creatively funded the Lloyd-Kumar scholarship in Entomology. He worked closely with The Wyoming Wool Grower’s Association and Wyoming Stock Grower’s Associations. He was an active member of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), The Livestock Insect Workers Conference (LIWC), and The American Veterinary Medical Association. He was awarded the LIWC Lifetime Achievement Award in Veterinary Entomology in 1999. When his children were young Jack was active in scouting, serving as the Pack Master of Packs 133 &134 of Laramie, Wyoming for numerous years. He also helped with Campfire Girls and Job’s Daughters and later advised for the Laramie Chapter Order of DeMolay where he was awarded the Chevalier. Jack’s hobbies included spending time with his family, trout fishing, traveling, and miniature railroading. He was also a creative man and some of the most treasured memories are from Halloween and Valentine’s Day when the family spent time constructing elaborate costumes and mailboxes from household materials. Jack is survived by his wife Deanna of Oregon; Children, Gwen Johnson (Alan Johnson) of Oregon and John Lloyd Jr. (Laura Lloyd) of Minnesota; Grandchildren, Cameron and Jeana Johnson (Cameron Mountain) of Oregon; Catherine Nelson (Jeremy Nelson), Thomas, Derek, and Kenny Lloyd of Minnesota; Great Grandson, Markus Nelson of Minnesota; Sister, Betty Jean Wallace of Pennsylvania, and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends. A private family service was held. Memorials may be sent to the American Lung Association in memory of Dr John E. Lloyd.



Additionally, as mentioned above, Jack established a scholarship at the University when he retired.  Memorial contributions can be sent to the following address with a notation that the gift is for the Lloyd-Kumar Graduate Fellowship in Entomology

Make checks payable to UW Foundation- Lloyd-Kumar Fund

Mail gifts to:

UW Foundation

222 S. 22nd Street

Laramie, WY 82070

Alternatively, one should also be able to make a contribution on-line at the following link  http://www.uwyo.edu/foundation/  and clicking the Give Now button.

Within the gift page, people should select a designation of “other fund not listed” and note in the comment field “Lloyd-Kumar Entomology Fund”


Topics: Academic, Announcements | No Comments »

A Model for Predicting Stable Fly Populations

By Alec Gerry | March 29, 2017

entomology today

“Stable fly populations fluctuate tremendously not only seasonally but also from year to year. An important component of any integrated pest management program is to know the current trend in the population. As a pest population approaches the economic injury level, one would like to know if the population is going to continue to increase, meriting control measures, or if the population is approaching its peak and will naturally decline in the near future,” says Taylor, research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research unit.

“In this study, we show that stable fly populations are responding to temperature and precipitation and their dynamics can be predicted using those variables,” Taylor continues. “This information permits more efficient use of control technologies. Negating the need for control using chemical agents when a population is at the cusp of a decline, for instance, reduces selection for insecticide resistance on that population and will slow the development of overall resistance.”


Read more:  Model of stable fly activity


stable flies on cow leg

Topics: Academic, pest management, publication | No Comments »

USDA Announces Eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida

By Alec Gerry | March 24, 2017


USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)is announcing the successful eradication of the New World screwworm (NWS) from Florida.

“I want to personally thank our many collaborating partners at the Federal, State, and local levels,” said Dr. Jack Shere, USDA Chief Veterinarian. “Through their dedication and professionalism close to 154 million sterile flies have been released, 16,902 animals have been inspected at checkpoints, and almost 430 hours of active surveillance in the Keys and 250 hours of active surveillance on the mainland have been completed. Their tireless work has allowed us to eliminate New World screwworm from the United States once again.”

Animal health checkpoints, or interdiction stations, were closed on Saturday. The last sterile fly releases in Homestead, FL took place on Tuesday and fly releases are scheduled to end on April 25 in the Florida Keys.

Read more:  Screwworm eradicated from Florida

Image result for screwworm

Topics: Animal Disease, Announcements, Government Actions, Historical Information, Industry News, pest management | No Comments »

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