Mosquito Control Studies Mosquito Colony to Learn More About Insecticide Resistance
Did you know that Calcasieu Parish Mosquito Control has its very own mosquito colony?
The department keeps a colony of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in its lab for testing and educational purposes.
Here's how it is done: After mating, female mosquitoes need to feed on blood for egg development. So, Mosquito Control puts blood from a local slaughterhouse into boudin casings and places the bags into the mosquito cage. Female mosquitoes are then able to pierce the casings and feed on the blood.
Egg development takes place over the next few days. Then, the females mosquitoes begin to deposit eggs on a special paper-lined bowl of water.
These eggs of the Aedes species need to go through a drying out period before they can hatch. Once dry, the eggs can be placed in water where they will hatch into larvae. Larvae develop into pupae and then into adult mosquitoes.
Mosquito Control then compares the colony's mosquitoes with other “field caught” mosquitoes to see if there is any resistance to the department's insecticides.
"We will put them in cages next to the field caught mosquitoes and spray over the cages either with a plane or truck with a particular insecticide. We then compare the mortality rates of the lab colony versus the 'wild' mosquitoes. The lab colony mosquitoes should always die really fast since they have never been exposed to chemicals," said Jill Hightower with Mosquito Control.
For more information on what Mosquito Control does, click HERE.