IPM Working Group Hosts Multi-State Workshop on Invasive Mosquitoes

BEACONS: Shedding Light on Invasive Mosquitoes in Southern Region USA

On Monday January 24th 2022, the Mosquito BEACONS Working Group hosted a workshop on invasive mosquito bionomics and data management. We brought graduate students, mosquito control and public health personnel together from across the southern United States. Participating states included:

  • Alabama
  • Mississippi
  • Louisiana
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina

The goal of this workshop was to train a cadre of IPM professionals, giving them the tools they need to disseminate information within their professional networks. Our workshop comprised of:

  • 3 hours dedicated to data organization, management, and visualization
  • 3 hours of invasive mosquito bionomics, identification, and trapping
Continuing Education Units

We are proud to have qualified for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina!

Workshop Topics

Trainees received hands-on experience using a variety of data management platforms including qGIS, Microsoft Excel, and EDDMapS. These tools will enable stakeholders to improve data organization and visualization. And we hope these new skills will facilitate sharing information between programs. Curated mosquito specimens were available for trainees to get a close-up look at important invasive mosquito species in our region. And an invasive species bionomics and morphology lecture will improve the accuracy of collections and identifications. Learn more about these topics by reading our Invasive Mosquito Bionomics Presentation.

One of our partners, the EntoExchange, was present at the workshop. Mr. Daniel Killingsworth (Co-founder of EntoExchange and BEACONS) presented an overview of the EntoExchange program, which provides members with mosquito specimens for training, teaching, and research. This is a valuable resource for mosquito taxonomists, experienced and inexperienced. Learn more about the program by visiting the EntoExchange website and by reading the EntoExchange Presentation.

We ended the day with a presentation describing integrated pest management (IPM) in action. During this seminar, trainees learned about IPM from a private pest control perspective. Using a coastal residential community as an example, Mr. Killingsworth described the holistic approach his company Environmental Security Pest and Lawn used to improve quality of life for residents. Learn more about this case study by reading the Reclaiming Heron’s Forest Presentation.

Thank you to the Beach Mosquito Control District (Panama City, Florida) for hosting us and to BEACONS co-director Dr. Yoosook Lee for providing logistical support!

Our Instructors

Thank you to our dedicated instructors for producing captivating and informative presentations! And a special thank you to Ana Romero-Weaver for contributing content for the invasive species bionomics presentation.

Instructor Name: Bryan Giordano (BEACONS Project Director)

Title: Research Staff

Education: PhD

Employer: University of Florida

Bio: Giordano, a courtesy faculty member at the FMEL, has expertise in mosquito and arbovirus surveillance. His contribution to science includes a multidisciplinary approach to investigate West Nile virus transmission in Canada which monitored the spread of invasive species Cx. erraticus and Ae. albopictus and documented the first records of Ae. aegypti in the region. He assessed >10 years of mosquito surveillance records in northeastern Florida and demonstrated the trap biases in mosquito species captured by different trap types and across vertical strata, and the need for year-round surveillance. Contact: b.giordano@ufl.edu


Instructor Name: Benjamin Allen (BEACONS Co-Director)

Title: Mosquito Control Inspector

Education: PhD

Employer: City of Jacksonville

Bio: Allen has expertise in medical entomology and ecology. He conducts mosquito and arbovirus surveillance, and coordinates responses to human cases of vector-borne diseases at the City of Jacksonville. His recent efforts have focused on elucidating trap bias and the competitive impact of re-colonization of urban areas by Aedes aegypti. Allen is currently working to map insecticide resistance by species and population using ArcGIS to enhance pest management decisions. Contact: benjamina@coj.net


Instructor Name: Lindsay Campbell (BEACONS Co-Director)

Title: Assistant Professor

Education: MSc, PhD

Employer: University of Florida

Bio: Campbell has extensive experience working with georeferenced mosquito data, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing technologies, and performing quantitative analyses of landscape and climate impacts on mosquito species across time and space. Campbell has additional experience working with domestic and international stakeholders teaching workshops using GIS for mapping priority public and veterinary health problems and data visualization. Contact: lcampbell2@ufl.edu


Instructor Name: Joseph LaForest

Title: Associate Director

Education: MSc

Employer: University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (Bugwood)

Bio: LaForest is Associate Director for the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (Bugwood) and leads the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Forest Health programs. He joined University of Georgia in 2006 and has focused on developing resources for educating all audiences on IPM. LaForest leads system development for various databases and interfaces used by the center. He also serves as Co-Director for the Southern IPM Center and coordinates the Facilitation of Innovation Through Technology (FITT) initiative. Contact: laforest@uga.edu


Instructor Name: Rebecca Heinig

Title: Director of Research

Education: PhD

Employer: Collier Mosquito Control District

Bio: Heinig has over 6 years of experience in research and development in the field of mosquito control and the biological sciences. Dr. Heinig has run an “Excel for Mosquito Surveillance” program as part of the Dodd Short Course in Florida for several years. She has recently been promoted to Director of Research at Collier Mosquito Control District. Contact: rheinig@cmcd.org


Instructor Name: Michael Riles (BEACONS Co-Director)

Title: Research Entomologist

Education: BSc

Employer: Beach Mosquito Control District

Bio: Riles has 11 years of experience within taxonomy, biology, ecology and surveillance of mosquitoes. He has extensive experience in the identification of mosquitoes in the Southern Region including Puerto Rico, Florida, and North Carolina. Furthermore, he published county record updates with a focus on invasive species (e.g. Aedes japonicus, Culex coronator). He is involved in the Florida Mosquito Control Association and the American Mosquito Control Associations Endangered Species Act committee as Co-Chair. Contact: michael@pcbeachmosquito.com


Instructor Name: Daniel Killingsworth (BEACONS Co-Director)

Title: Operations Manager; Field Supervisor

Education: BSc

Employer: Environmental Security Pest and Lawn

Bio: Killingsworth has over 30 years of experience in the private pest management sector. His company Environmental Security Pest and Lawn has been in business for 25 years. He is involved in the Florida Mosquito Control Associations’ Technical Bulletin and is the founder of EntoExchange (a mosquito identification and specimen sharing network). Current work includes updating Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida County records, and promoting IPM methodologies.  Contact: dan.killingsworth@pest.com


We are supported by the Southern IPM Center (Project S21-002) as part of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Crop Protection and Pest Management Regional Coordination Program (Agreement No. 2018-70006-28884).



Posted: February 4, 2022

Category: UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, Invasive, Mosquito, Mosquito BEACONS, SIPMC, UFIFASExtension

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