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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Evaluation of repellents, inhibitors, barrier treatments, and ULV insecticides, and other new products in a Southern California desert habitat

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Project Number: 6036-32000-050-04-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2012
End Date: Aug 31, 2014

To test new mosquito and fly repellent, inhibitor and control products, and application strategies such as assessing the efficacy of perimeter treatments of bifenthrin and ultra-low-volume (ULV) applications of other insecticides to control Culex tarsalis adults in a desert environment.

Weather stations will be established in the study area to closely monitor environmental parameters. In initial studies, suitable field sites within these habitats will be selected for small scale experimental plots consisting of military tents protected with novel mosquito inhibitors and nursery-obtained plants treated with residual application of bifenthrin formulations. Later, large - scale plots, consisting of naturally - occurring vegetation will be identified. Mosquito populations will be monitored with C02 - baited traps and human landing counts (when IRB approvals are obtained). Bioassays will be conducted to determine the longevity of the spray applications and the breakdown products of the insecticides. Periodically during the project, leaves and other vegetation will be collected and shipped to USDA-Agriculture Research Service Mosquito and Fly Research Unit at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (MFRU-CMAVE) in Gainesville, Florida for gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis to determine the amount of residual pesticide on the vegetation. Appropriate statistical methods will be applied. To achieve small droplet size, future studies will be made with specialized ground and aerial ULV application equipment. Insecticides will be applied in a concentrated form or technical grade and at very low volumes such as 1 oz per acre. Typically, aerial applications produce insecticide spray droplets of 30 to 50 microns measured as mass median diameter (MMD), with <2.5% of the droplets exceeding 100 microns. Ground ultra-low-volume (ULV) applicators produce droplets of 8 to 30 microns, with no droplets >50 microns MMD. Droplets will be collected on rotating teflon-coated glass slides and measured. Adult mosquito mortality will be measured primarily with the use of caged mosquitoes positioned at varying distances from the insecticide release point. Other new repellent and control products such as spatial inhibitors intended for use in military tents are being developed by the DWFP program in CMAVE and will be tested in this cooperative research project. Novel larval bio-control compounds are being developed and formulated for future testing. An overarching goal is to assess the efficacy and longevity of new mosquito control products in a desert environment under hot, dry, dusty, windy, and strong sunlight and high ultraviolet (UV) conditions.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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