Monday, February 8, 2016

Spring mosquito seminars

Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the remarkable step of elevating its Zika response to the highest emergency (Level 1) priority outbreak.  For a virus not even established in the U.S., this illustrates the respect and fear health officials have for this previously unheard of virus.

So what's the story behind the Zika virus?  How do you recognize the mosquitoes that might transmit it? What's the difference between managing mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus and those that carry Zika? If you don't know all the answers to these questions, it might be time for an update.

For the third year in a row Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will offer regional vector management workshops with a focus on mosquito control.  These workshops are designed to provide municipal and county health department staff, pest management professionals, and anyone with an interest in mosquito control, with a good basic introduction to urban mosquito identification, biology, ecology and diseases--including Zika. In addition, Dr. Sonja Swiger and other experts will provide information about mosquito trapping, surveillance programs and control.

The workshop has been confirmed for sites this year:
  • San Antonio - March 8
  • Abilene - March 11
  • Round Rock - March 21
  • Grapevine - April 5
  • Rosenberg - April 13
The workshops will run from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm and will offer 5 Agriculture CEUs (2-general, 2 IPM, 1 Laws and Reg) and 3 Structural CEUs (1 Pest, 1 IPM, and 1 Laws/Regs) for pesticide applicators.  There will also be CE units offered for Registered Sanitarians and Animal Control personnel.  Cost of the workshop is $50 per person, which includes a meal.  Preregistration is required.  To register for all but the Grapevine location, click here.

The Grapevine location this year will be co-hosted between AgriLife Extension and Municipal Pest Solutions. The April 5 date will include slightly different times and costs, as well as an expanded agenda. Mosquito and epidemiology experts from the CDC, State of Texas, and North Texas area present the latest information about established and emerging arboviruses, and evolving response scenarios. For more information, go to the 2016 North Texas Mosquito Education Workshop.

This year's workshop, like in previous years, will focus on all mosquito health threats, not just Zika. With mosquito season almost upon us, make sure you and your employees can respond to the many concerns about this year's mosquito season. Don't miss out on this chance to get the latest updates, and be get ready to face an energized public with more questions than ever.