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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Aerial Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #432566

Research Project: Deployed Warfighter Protection Research Program (FY 2017)

Location: Aerial Application Technology Research

Project Number: 3091-22000-036-05-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Oct 1, 2016
End Date: Sep 30, 2019

Objective:
- Analyze, optimize and/or develop insecticide application equipment used by DOD personnel for the control of nuisance arthropods. Additionally, to provide specific operation guidance on currently used, and newly developed technologies to produce spray droplet sizes optimum for effective control. Current user interfaces with these data will be updated and maintained. - Update Smartphone apps to include additional feature beyond equipment droplet size data, which may include addition of common pesticide label information, recording of meteorological data, recordkeeping functions and other features as identified by DWFP Board and other cooperators. - Investigate the role spray droplet size plays in the deposition of space spray into bioassay cages and the resulting mortality of adult mosquitoes to provide guidance on the interpretation of field bioassay results from adulticiding operations. - Develop and test a new electrostatic spraying system for oil-based products.

Approach:
Ground application of small quantities of aerosol insecticide (ultra-low volume or ULV) is a best management practice to quickly and effectively knock down insect populations however, efficacy from these applications to control flying mosquitoes have been mixed. Droplet size is considered the most important factor affecting the efficacy of a ULV spray application. This study is planned to investigate the effect of sprays of various VMDs on pesticide efficacy determined by deposition and by caged female Ae. aegypti mortality. This project combines engineering and entomological expertise to create a research program that defines how sprayed materials move from the application systems to the site of deposition and how efficacy of the applied product is affected by changing deposition characteristics. An interactive Excel version of the app is being developed that also incorporates the entire current sprayer database to provide end users with guidance on droplet size from sprayers used in vector control applications. The apps consolidate data over multiple reports and manuscripts and give users access to the data. Electrostatic sprayers have been around for many years and are primarily used in row crop agricultural systems with very limited vector control applications. One of the limits of these sprayers is that they generally require a water-based spray solution for effective charging of the spray droplets. AATRU scientists have begun working with a private company to develop an electrostatic (ES) spraying system that can be used with oil-based sprays such as ULV malathion, metofluthrin, Essentria IC3, etc. The ES system will be rugged, compact, inexpensive, with very low power requirements. The first system will be able to safely charge the spray using 4-AA batteries to generate a 5 kV charge, at very low amperage with minimal shock hazard.