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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352493

Research Project: Biting Arthropod Surveillance and Control

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Residual pesticide on HESCO® blast protection wall in temperate Florida habitat effective against mosquitoes, stable flies, and sand flies

item Gibson, Seth
item Linthicum, Kenneth - Ken
item Aldridge, Robert
item WALKER, TODD - East Baton Rouge Parish Mosquito Abatement And Rodent Control
item RUSH, MATTIE - Former ARS Employee
item AUBUCHON, MATTHEW - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
item KERCE, JERRY - Department Of Defense
item FAROOQ, MUHAMMAD - Department Of Defense
item HANLEY, ANTHONY - Department Of Defense
item LLOYD, AARON - Pasco County Mosquito Control
item PLATT, RAYMOND - Department Of Defense
item POMALES-CORDERO, RAUL - Department Of Defense
item SMITH, VINCENT - Department Of Defense

Submitted to: Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/23/2018
Publication Date: 9/10/2018
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K., Aldridge, R.L., Walker, T.W., Rush, M.J., Aubuchon, M.D., Kerce, J.D., Farooq, M., Hanley, A.M., Lloyd, A.M., Platt, R.R., Pomales-Cordero, R.A., Smith, V.L. 2018. Residual pesticide on HESCO® blast protection wall in temperate Florida habitat effective against mosquitoes, stable flies, and sand flies. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 34(3):224-232.

Interpretive Summary: United States military troops in the field may be exposed to the environment throughout the day and night and thus be at high risk for becoming infected with insect-borne disease such as malaria (by mosquitoes), leishmaniasis (by sand flies), or stomach illnesses (filth-breeding flies), and degradation of their mission from continual harassment from insects. An established technique to improve insect control in the field is to spray a pesticide onto surrounding vegetation that is long-lasting and will kill insects such as mosquitoes on contact as these insects attempt to move towards people or other attractants such as food or human waste. An emerging technique in the US military is to modify this concept by applying such a residual pesticide treatment to military materials commonly used in the field such as tents or camouflage netting -- which have both been successfully tested and shown to reduce mosquitoes and sand flies outdoors. Another important US military material that has not yet been tested as a good surface to treat with residual pesticides is the thick felt-like material that lines blast protection walls known as HESCO barriers. In this study we applied a common residual pesticide to HESCO liner material and allowed it to become weathered in the field in a north-central Florida temperate location. In laboratory tests we found that the residual pesticide on the HESCO material killed mosquitoes, sand flies, and two kinds of filth-breeding flies for up to six weeks post-treatment. This evidence provides an important basis for continued testing of residual pesticides on HESCO material in other environments important to the US military such as desert and tropical areas.

Technical Abstract: United States military troops in the field are exposed to the environment and are thus at high risk for transmission of arboviruses, and degradation of mission from continual harassment from insects. Passive vector control, such as application of residual insecticides to US military materials common in the field such as tents and camouflage netting has been shown to be effective and can contribute to a successful integrated vector management (IVM) plan in the field to reduce this risk. However, other common US military field materials have not been evaluated with residual pesticides. In this study we conducted the first known investigation of the efficacy and longevity of a residual pesticide containing '-cyhalothrin applied to HESCO blast protection wall geotextile. We exposed treated material to a temperate Florida environment and found that this treatment can be effective against sand flies, filth-breeding flies, and mosquitoes for at least six weeks. This study provides evidence that residual treatment of this US military material may be leveraged as an IVM component to enhance the US Department of Defense Pest Management System.