State of Emergency Over Flesh-Eating Screwworm Infestation Declared in Florida


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/14/state-of-emergency-declared-as.html


#2

Ew. Ew ew ew. Just yuck.

No better comment in store, sorry.


#3

I already filled a spiral notebook with reasons why I don’t ever wanna go to Florida. Now I gotta scribble on the back cover?


#4

They waited this deep into the election to warn people?


#5

Man the Morgellons worriers must be going CRAZY.


#6

This is actually pretty tragic.

Historically, screwworms were endemic to much of the warmer bits of the US; not sure exactly how far north; but a substantial range; and extremely destructive( particularly C. hominivorax, which goes for live tissue; though C. macellaria’s preference for necrotic tissue isn’t a whole lot more pleasant).

In 1958, Knipling and Bushland developed and proposed the use of the sterile insect technique(for some reason, female screwworm flies mate only once, so enough sterile males can crater a population); and the USDA conducted a successful extermination campaign.

If memory serves, we ended up driving them all the way down to Panama, in order to minimize the ‘front’ on which continued eradication and surveillance efforts would have to focus, since it’s the best available bottleneck.

Apparently, something got through. And that means we’ll potentially need to scale up eradication considerably; at a time when odds are pretty good that ‘gummint wastocrats can’t do anything right’ types will merrily ignore the fact that they have, in fact, already solved this problem once; which raises the possibility of some half-assed not-nearly-as-good-and-only-slightly-cheaper operation.


#7

We got genedrive now though. We could plausibly eradicate these things completely if we wanted to. Too bad the political will is almost certainly not there.


#8

One of the silver linings of climate change is that Florida won’t exist much longer.


#9

I suspect that one could change that with a supply of viable C. hominivorax eggs and clandestine access to members of the house and senate appropriations committees.

Purely hypothetically, of course.


#10

Meanwhile in Florida…


#11

Not according to this documentary: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4877736/


#12

screwworms…


#13

You might think…


#14


#15


#16

“You gonna be da worm face!”


#17

Oh fuck. Does anyone else realize that this has the potential to eradicate an endagered species?
Say what you want about Florida, but the Key Deer are adorable.

To put this article in another light, given there are 600-800 Key Deer left the 30 killed means we have lost a whopping 4-5% of the population already. That’s terrifying.


#18

Screw worms really bore me


#19

Up until I saw this lovely photo I’ve never given much thought to the value of butt plugs…now however…


#20

Kind of like measles?