Location: Mosquito and Fly ResearchTitle: Spatial repellents and attractants as components of a "push-pull" management strategy
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/6/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: This presentation was an overview of research efforts being conducted by the Mosquito and Fly Research Unit (MFRU) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Center for Medical and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) located in Gainesville, Florida, to develop innovative population management strategies based on the chemical ecology of the target insects. The major research objectives of this research are: 1) discover and develop behavior altering chemicals; 2) develop and evaluate systems that disrupt target species dispersal, host-finding, host feeding, and/or survival; and 3)improve accuracy and utilitiy of surveillance technology. Currently, the major emphasis is the discovery and development of new attractants and spatial repellents for mosquitoes and biting flies. The goal is to develop “push-pull” strategies. The “push-pull” concept was reviewed by Cook et al. (2007). They state that the concept was first developed for use against agricultural pests. The term “push-pull” was conceived as a strategy for insect pest management (IPM) by Pyke et al. (1987) in Australia. These researchers investigated the use of repellent and attractive stimuli, deployed in tandem, to manipulate the distribution of Helicovrpa spp. in cotton, thereby reducing reliance on insecticides, to which the moths were becoming resistant. Push-pull strategies use a combination of behavior-modifying stimuli to manipulate the distribution and abundance of pest and/or beneficial insects for pest management. The pests are repelled or deterred away from the resource that needs to be protected (PUSH) by using stimuli that mask host apparency or are repellent or deterrent. Simultaneously these pests are attracted (PULL), using highly attractive stimuli, to other areas, such as traps or trap crops, where they are concentrated, facilitating their elimination. At CMAVE both spatial repellents and attractants are being investigated. Many definitions exist for spatial repellents (Kline and Strickman 2014). In my opinion (DLK) opinion, a spatial repellent is a chemical compound, or a mixture of chemical compounds, that in the vapor phase can produce repellency at a distance, significantly reducing the number of target pest species in a defined area over a designated period of time. The ultimate objective is to prevent/minimize vector-host contact. To date our approach has been to investigate available commercial products that claim to be spatial repellents. These consist of a variety of active ingredients, primarily synthetic pyrethroids (e.g. metofluthrin, transfluthrin, d-allethrin and prallethrin) and essential oils (e.g. citronella, linalool, geraniol, peppermint oil, lemon grass, and thyme). These products are delivered in a variety of ways, both passive (granules with essential oils, paper and plastic emanators) and active (heated devices such as coils, mats, candles and torches, or fan-driven non-heated devices) . These active ingredients and delivery systems have been extensively reviewed by Kline and Strickman (2014). Laboratory olfactometric, semi-field and field studies have been conducted. These studies have included observations of the effects (mortality, true repellency and/or expellency) on target species. Several promising compounds have been identified. Future emphasis will be on determining effective airborne concentrations, the impact of environmental factors on efficacy, and the discovery, development and evaluation of new compounds and delivery systems. During the past decade much of the research effort has focused on the “pull” side. Many attractants and trap designs have been evaluated. Many trap types/designs have been evaluated. The “Life Cycle Approach” has been utilized to identify new attractant candidates with initial emphasis placed on discovering attractants associated with host location and feeding.