Insects and other arachnids such as ticks and mites directly and indirectly affect the lives of all Mississippi citizens – directly by bites and stings, and indirectly by disease transmission and allergies. Nuisance biting by mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, chiggers, and the like can make outdoor activity miserable at times. Insects and arachnids like mosquitoes and ticks bite people and sometimes spread serious diseases. Also, pests such as cockroaches and house dust mites can cause allergic reactions in people prone to allergies.
Successful control of these pests requires proactive planning, proper pest identification, understanding pest biology, and a sound knowledge of control options and how and when to apply control measures. Insecticides are important tools for controlling insect and arachnid pests, but insecticides are only one of many methods of insect prevention and management. Personal protection measures are important, such as wearing long sleeves and long pants when in places with numerous biting pests, as well as proper use of insect repellents. When insecticides are needed, knowing which insecticide to use and how to apply it safely is critical to obtaining effective control for minimum cost and effort.
With all the rain we’ve had this year, mosquitoes have plenty of places to breed. But you can take some easy steps to keep their numbers down.
Mississippi does not have to deal with plagues of locusts like those ravaging other parts of the world, but it does have to contend with a stinging caterpillar that is on the increase this spring.
Jerome Goddard received the Felix J. Underwood Award from the Mississippi Public Health Association at its 82nd annual conference.