Disease Prevention From Midges
Control and preventative measures against blood-feeding insects originated with primitive man, when humans picked fleas and swatted mosquitoes. With the development of agriculture and animal domestication, vector control comprised manual control, such as hand-removal of ticks from animals, together with preventative measures, such as the avoidance of high-risk areas, such as tsetse-fly belts, by livestock keepers. The use of smoking fires to disperse and deter blood-feeding insects in village corrals and housing compounds is an age-old, worldwide preventative measure that is still common in many rural areas today.
Since the 1960s the scale and potential of vector control has increased enormously, following the refinement of insecticide formulations and safe methods of application, as well as the use of nuclear irradiation methods. The current advancement in medical technologies, pharmaceuticals and vector control techniques is predicted to be sufficient to achieve a ‘global convergence in health’ by 2035, which would have a significant impact on major health and development issues. Nevertheless, irrespective of how sophisticated a technique or a country may be, the threat of insect invasion and disease dispersal is ever present and increasing. A good example of this is the rapid and unpredictable spread of biting midges (Culicoides) into Europe, including the United Kingdom (UK), between 2006 and 2008.
Current and classic vectors
The Culicoides biting midges are currently among the most threatening vectors in the management of animal disease, particularly in Europe. Populations of these small flies are expanding on a global scale and are of high concern as vectors of bluetongue virus, African horse sickness virus and Schmallenberg virus. A ‘classic’ vector that remains important is the tsetse fly (Glossina), which is the vector of animal African trypanosomosis (nagana) and human African trypanosomosis (sleeping sickness). Despite a long recordof research and control activities, the presence of tsetse flies in 36 African countries remains a major restraint to development, agriculture and health. These two examples form the basis for the present discussion of the issues, challenges and options in disease prevention and anti-vector campaigns, from the small, individual livestock-keeper level to large area-wide control operations.
Although this paper focuses on just two insect groups, the technology is adaptable and applicable to other insect vectors because of the inherent similarities in their biology,
behaviour and ecology, such as blood feeding, the use of visual or olfactory host-seeking cues, and specific breeding or resting habitats.
Vector control challenges
Advances in the control of insect vectors are continually challenged by the resilience of insects and their ability to spread almost unhindered. The environmental persistence and adaptability of pathogens, as well as the distribution and sizes of insect populations and their hosts, complicate epidemiological understanding. During disease outbreaks and epidemics, the size of insect vector populations and the geographical scale of their presence are often so immense that this excludes the possibility of large-scale interventions. For example, controlling an outbreak of biting midges is near impossible, considering that population sizes are of such magnitude that a single monitoring trap can catch between 1,500 and 500,000 midges per night . The multitude of variable environmental conditions can further add unseen and often unpredictable constraints and challenges. Moreover, the human factor is often instrumental in success or failure of vector control campaigns. For example, the disruption of control operations because of civil unrest or conflict can quickly negate area-wide successes, and inadequate political and financial commitment from governments and institutions can often lead to failure.
Prevent Midges – MBOX Mosquito Trap
How do QM mosquito traps attract and kill midges? Midges are as same as mosquitoes that are first attracted to a trap by smell. They can smell CO2 around 100 feet from a trap and start to fly towards the source. Next Octenol and Lactic Acid start to be perceived around 50 feet. As the insect continues toward the source, the color, lights and apparent movement in some mosquito traps add more attractants. Mosquitoes can only see about 30 feet.
Finally, as they get within around 3 feet, the mosquitoes are further attracted by the heat and moisture from the CO2 release (if present). They are sucked into the trap by a fan into a container. These are mosquito killer machines from which they cannot escape.
Why is QM mosquito trap better than the other? The shape, size, color and height of the mosquito machine can make a huge difference. So does the amount of CO2, octenol and/or lactic acid released. Some frequencies of lights work better than others. The way the fans are designed to draw them in makes a big difference. Finally, placement of the devices is very important. A good trap in the wrong location will not be effective. MBOX uses a new and highly effective method to catch mosquitoes. First we have to understand that only female mosquitoes need blood (protein) in order to lay eggs. Female mosquitoes track their victim through CO2 up to a range of 50meters, combined with the sense of smell of H2O, female mosquitoes are very effective in tracking their victim.