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Day is recognized as a national expert on controlling mosquitoes and other blood-feeding arthropod disease vectors.

Published: June 24th, 2008

Category: Spotlights

Jonathan Day

Jonathan Day

Professor of Entomology
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory,
Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences

The importance of Day’s research on mosquitoes and the diseases they carry is underscored by the media’s reliance on him as a credible source of accurate information. With more than 400 media interviews to his credit over the past five years, Day is recognized as a national expert on controlling mosquitoes and other blood-feeding arthropod disease vectors.

Mosquito-borne diseases such as St. Louis encephalitis, eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus are costly, disruptive and dangerous. Since 1983, Day has studied these disease systems at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory in Vero Beach, which is part of UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Day, along with numerous coworkers throughout Florida and the United States, has developed a reliable system for predicting outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. He works closely with state and national mosquito control districts and other public and private groups to disseminate the information. Day posts maps starting in January of each year and updates them monthly through June, after which updates may become more frequent, depending on the intensity of disease transmission. His forecasting system, which includes a written narrative describing the biological and environmental conditions that lead to development of each map, is available on the laboratory’s Web site

His other research and education work includes studies on mosquito attractants and repellents, including electronic bug zappers. During an interview on NBC’s Dateline, Day said these electronic devices are not useful, and they kill more beneficial insects than mosquitoes.

In 2001, Day received an Honor Award for Excellence for from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The award, which is the agency’s highest honor, recognized him for outstanding contributions to research and the consumer.

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