screwworms

Keys Officials Say Customs Office Aided Screwworm Fight

Apr 17, 2017
Judy Gallagher / Flickr

A new customs office at a Florida Keys airport helped efforts to stop a parasite infestation threatening endangered deer.

Wildlife Officials: Screwworm Infestation Declining In Keys

Mar 7, 2017
Judy Gallagher / Flickr

Wildlife officials say a screwworm infestation in the Florida Keys seems to be declining, which is good news for a unique deer herd threatened by the flesh-eating parasites.

National Key Deer Refuge

Wildlife officials say a two-month-long screwworm outbreak among Key deer has helped biologists develop better counts of the elusive herd.

Nancy Klingener

People in the Keys have been living alongside Key deer for a long time. And for ages, wildlife officials have implored people: Don't feed the deer.

Since a screwworm infestation was identified in the Lower Keys, more than 10 million sterile screwworm flies have been released on eight islands.

Sterile flies are the proven technology to eradicate screwworms. The flies are zapped with gamma radiation, making them sterile. Then those sterile flies are released to breed with wild flies. That stops reproduction, preventing more fly larvae.

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Officials say they've found no evidence of screwworm in hundreds of pets examined for signs of the parasite killing endangered deer in the Florida Keys.

National Key Deer Refuge

An agricultural emergency has been declared in the Florida Keys over a fly larvae infestation threatening endangered deer found that are found exclusively in the island chain.