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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL AND PROTECTION TOOLS FOR INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT OF MOSQUITOES AND FILTH FLIES

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: The use of air curtains to prevent entry of flies and mosquitoes on commercial aircraft

Authors
item Hogsette, Jerome
item Carlson, David

Submitted to: International Congress of Dipterology
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 2006
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Dispersal of insects, particularly species that transmit zoonotic diseases, by commercial aircraft is a concern of many nations world wide. Another concern, particularly by flight crews and passengers, are the current pesticide-based methods mandated for treatment of aircraft prior to landing in countries anxious to prevent entry of vector species. The USDA, supported partially by a grant from the Federal Department of Transportation, investigated the potential use of air curtains as an alternative method for management of insects that might enter and disperse via commercial air craft. The method involves preventing insect entry during servicing and boarding of aircraft and prevention of insect exit from aircraft after landing. Tests were performed in rooms especially designed to simulate boarding bridges attached to an aircraft cabins. Air curtains, used commercially to prevent insect entry over doorways, were mounted vertically on either side of the door between the simulated boarding bridge and aircraft so that air blew into the boarding bridge and air streams from each unit intersected at a 90° angle just inside the center of the doorway of the boarding bridge. To perform a test, 50 mosquitoes of 3 different species (150 total) and 50 house flies, Musca domestica, were released in the simulated boarding bridge when air curtains were in operation. Next, staff members made 25 passes through the boarding bridge, through the air stream of the air curtains and into the aircraft to simulate passenger boarding. After the 25th ‘passenger’ entered the aircraft, the door separating the two rooms was closed and any insects that passed into the aircraft were counted and identified. The system excluded 95-99% of the mosquitoes and 95-100% of the house flies.

Technical Abstract: Dispersal of insects, particularly species that transmit zoonotic diseases, by commercial aircraft is a concern of many nations world wide. Another concern, particularly by flight crews and passengers, are the current pesticide-based methods mandated for treatment of aircraft prior to landing in countries anxious to prevent entry of vector species. The USDA, supported partially by a grant from the Federal Department of Transportation, investigated the potential use of air curtains as an alternative method for management of insects that might enter and disperse via commercial air craft. The method involves preventing insect entry during servicing and boarding of aircraft and prevention of insect exit from aircraft after landing. Tests were performed in rooms especially designed to simulate boarding bridges attached to an aircraft cabins. Air curtains, used commercially to prevent insect entry over doorways, were mounted vertically on either side of the door between the simulated boarding bridge and aircraft so that air blew into the boarding bridge and air streams from each unit intersected at a 90° angle just inside the center of the doorway of the boarding bridge. To perform a test, 50 mosquitoes of 3 different species (150 total) and 50 house flies, Musca domestica, were released in the simulated boarding bridge when air curtains were in operation. Next, staff members made 25 passes through the boarding bridge, through the air stream of the air curtains and into the aircraft to simulate passenger boarding. After the 25th ‘passenger’ entered the aircraft, the door separating the two rooms was closed and any insects that passed into the aircraft were counted and identified. The system excluded 95-99% of the mosquitoes and 95-100% of the house flies.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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