Location: Mosquito and Fly ResearchTitle: Development of Air Force aerial spray night operations: High altitude swath characterization Author
Submitted to: Army Medical Department Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2015
Publication Date: 8/18/2015
Citation: Haagsma, K.A., Breidenbaugh, M.S., Linthicum, K., Aldridge, R.L., Britch, S.C. 2015. Development of Air Force aerial spray night operations: High altitude swath characterization. Army Medical Department Journal. pg.47-59. Interpretive Summary: Since World War II, the US military has used aerial spray to mitigate vector-borne disease in combat situations as well as domestic post-emergency scenarios. The benefits of aerial application are that large areas, which may not be accessible from the ground, can be covered rapidly and thus quickly break the cycle of infection. Currently, aerial spray operations conducted by the US Air Force (USAF) for mosquito and other insect borne disease control are conducted during daylight hours. To validate aerial spray effectiveness at night multiple trials were conducted from 2006 to 2014 using night vision goggles. Sprays conducted over 400 feet above ground level (AGL) suggested that effective vector control might be possible under ideal meteorological conditions. Sprays at altitudes of 300 feet AGL demonstrated effective and repeatable mortality of target sentinel mosquitoes more than 5000 feet downwind of the spray, and control of natural midge and mosquito vector populations.
Technical Abstract: Multiple trials were conducted from 2006 to 2014 in an attempt to validate aerial spray efficacy at altitudes conducive to night spray operations using night vision goggles (NVG). Higher altitude application of pesticide (>400 feet above ground level [AGL]) suggested that effective vector control might be possible under ideal meteorological conditions. A series of lower altitude daytime applications (300 feet AGL) demonstrated effective and repeatable mortality of target sentinel insects more than 5000 feet downwind, and control of natural vector populations. From these results we believe further pursuit of aerial night applications of pesticide using NVGs at 300 feet AGL by this group is warranted.