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.
When bedbug outbreaks make headlines, many travelers feel itches that may not exist because of the psychological trauma these pests inflict. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has long classified bedbugs as a public health pest. These tiny parasites feed on the blood of humans and animals. Adult bedbugs are reddish-brown, have six legs and two antennae and are about the size of Abraham Lincoln’s engraved head on a penny.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Increasing buffalo gnat populations are more than a nuisance to central and south Mississippians; they cause measurable, sometimes fatal harm to chickens and livestock.
Swarms of these insects, also known as black flies, are killing backyard chickens and causing headaches for small-scale poultry producers in central and south Mississippi. At about 3 millimeters long, buffalo gnats breed in flowing water, so outbreaks tend to be in areas near rivers or streams.