Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of barrier treatments on native vegetation in a southern California desert habitat

Authors
item Britch, Seth
item Linthicum, Kenneth
item Wynn, Willard
item Walker, Todd - NAVAL AIR STATION; JAX,FL
item Farooq, Muhammad - NAVAL AIR STATION; JAX,FL
item Smith, Vincent - NAVAL AIR STATION; JAX,FL
item Robinson, Cathy - NAVAL AIR STATION; JAX,FL
item Lothrop, Branka - COACHELLA VALLEY MOSQUITO
item Snelling, Melissa - COACHELLA VALLEY MOSQUITO
item Gutierrez, Arturo - COACHELLA VALLEY MOSQUITO
item Lothrop, Hugh - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

Submitted to: Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2009
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K., Wynn, W.W., Walker, T.W., Farooq, M., Smith, V.L., Robinson, C.A., Lothrop, B.B., Snelling, M., Gutierrez, A., Lothrop, H.D. 2009. Evaluation of barrier treatments on native vegetation in a southern California desert habitat. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 25(2):184-193.

Interpretive Summary: Treating perimeters with residual insecticides to provide protection from mosquito vectors has shown promise. These barrier treatments are typically evaluated in temperate or tropical areas using lush, ambient vegetation as a substrate for the pesticide. However, there is an emerging interest to develop this technology to protect deployed US troops in extreme desert environments with sparse vegetation. We used a large remote desert area in the Coachella Valley, California, to evaluate bifenthrin barrier treatments under field conditions of heat, dust, and low humidity on several plots of native xeric vegetation using two spray technologies. Through a combination of tests using colony-reared female mosquitoes placed in tubes on foliage sampled from these plots, synchronized with field surveillance of mosquitoes from traps placed within plots, we measured the temporal pattern of bioactivity of bifenthrin barriers under natural desert conditions over 63 days. Regardless of spray technology, mosquito catch in treated plots was about 80% lower than the catch in control plots one day after treatment. This reduction in mosquito numbers in treated plots declined each week after treatment, but remained at about 40% lower than control plots after 28 days. These field data were corroborated by results from the lab tests with colony mosquitoes which showed significantly higher mosquito mortality on treated vegetation as compared to untreated vegetation out to 28 days post-spray.

Technical Abstract: Treating perimeters with residual insecticides to provide protection from mosquito vectors has shown promise. These barrier treatments are typically evaluated in temperate or tropical areas using lush, ambient vegetation as a substrate for the pesticide. However, there is an emerging interest to develop this technology to protect deployed US troops in extreme desert environments with sparse vegetation. We used a large remote desert area in the Coachella Valley, California, to evaluate bifenthrin barrier treatments under field conditions of heat, dust, and low humidity on 15.25 x 15.25 m plots of native xeric vegetation using two spray technologies. Through a combination of bioassays on foliage periodically sampled from these plots over 63 days, synchronized with field surveillance of mosquitoes from traps placed within plots, we measured the temporal pattern of bioactivity of bifenthrin barriers under natural desert conditions. Regardless of spray technology, mosquito catch in treated plots was about 80% lower than the catch in control plots one day after treatment. This reduction in mosquito numbers in treated plots declined each week after treatment, but remained at about 40% lower than control plots after 28 days. These field data were corroborated by results from bioassays in the lab which showed significantly higher mosquito mortality on treated vegetation as compared to untreated vegetation out to 28 days post-spray.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014