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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Testing and Validation of Fielded Mosquito Control Spray Equipment and Insecticides to Protect Personnel from Mosquito-borne Diseases

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
To field test insecticide spray equipment and insecticides which will provide a significant capability enhancement over the status quo tool set.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Will utilize established field sites in Thailand to test and evaluate critical spray equipment and insecticides for the control of mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. Monitoring mosquito population levels before and after control operations at each site will determine effectiveness of each control intervention. The most effective sprayer and insecticide combination will be determined to affect necessary changes to fielded equipment.


3.Progress Report:

This research relates to in-house Objective 3: Conceive and test new methods of managing vector and pest populations through the use of behavior-altering chemicals, including repellents, attractants, and inhibitors. Reducing populations of disease-transmitting mosquitoes is of ongoing importance to U.S. military and civilians in endemic regions. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya viruses that can cause severe and debilitating diseases and quickly jeopardize military missions. Adult mosquito control is difficult because Aedes aegypti females bite humans and rest indoors during daytime hours in locations where space sprays often do not penetrate. In this project we tested insecticide spray equipment and insecticides to determine which will provide a significant capability enhancement over the status quo tool set. This project used established field sites in Thailand to test and evaluate critical spray equipment and insecticides for the control of mosquitoes that transmit dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. Monitoring mosquito population levels before and after control operations at each site will determine effectiveness of each control intervention. The most effective sprayer and insecticide combination will be determined and the Vector Control Integrated Product Team will work closely with the Equipment and Pesticide Committees of the Armed Forces Pest Management Board and the Directorate of Combat & Doctrine Development (DCDD) to affect necessary authorization changes to fielded equipment. We tested two new, portable insecticide sprayers (a thermal fogger and a cold aerosol/ultra low volume (ULV) sprayer) using Thai and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved insecticides for the ability to control Aedes aegypti populations in and around houses in Thailand. Initial findings indicated that the thermal fog equipment did not perform the same as the ULV equipment. The thermal fog equipment was not as reliable under field conditions, and did not kill sentinel caged mosquitoes as well as the ULV machine. Neither piece of equipment was able to kill all mosquitoes in sentinel cages that were hidden from the direct spray. Evaluations of the impact on natural populations of mosquitoes are underway.


Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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