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Research Project: Japanese Encephalitis Virus Prevention and Mitigation Strategies

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Title: Laboratory evaluation of sugar alcohols for control of mosquitoes and other medically important flies

Author
item ROCHLIN, ILIA - RUTGERS UNIVERSITY
item WHITE, GREG - SALT LAKE CITY MOSQUITO ABATEMENT DISTRICT
item REISSEN, NADJA - SALT LAKE CITY MOSQUITO ABATEMENT DISTRICT
item SWANSON, DUSTIN
item Cohnstaedt, Lee
item CHURA, MADELINE - LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
item HEALY, KRISTEN - LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY
item FARAJI, ARY - SALT LAKE CITY MOSQUITO ABATEMENT DISTRICT

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/29/2022
Publication Date: 8/12/2022
Citation: Rochlin, I., White, G., Reissen, N., Swanson, D.A., Cohnstaedt, L.W., Chura, M., Healy, K., Faraji, A. 2022. Laboratory evaluation of sugar alcohols for control of mosquitoes and other medically important flies. Scientific Reports. 12(1). Article 13763. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-15825-z.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-15825-z

Interpretive Summary: Insecticides are toxic substances designed to kill insects. Therefore, they are the most controversial part of protecting the public and the food supply from pathogen transmitting insects. One approach to overcome this challenge is the use of environmentally friendly insecticides. Among the most promising emerging strategies is attractive toxic sugar baits, or mosquito baits that kill mosquitoes when they feed on them. Sugar alcohols - naturally occurring molecules safe for human consumption and often used as sweeteners in foods, but potentially toxic to insects when ingested, have received increased attention for use with this approach. For this study, four sugar alcohols were evaluated for how well they killed several mosquito species, biting midges, and filth flies. The sugar alcohol treatments died more quickly than the table sugar only control group. However, only erythritol and highly concentrated xylitol induced mortalities exceeding insects provided only water, which died of starvation (mortality of 40%-75%). New pesticides containing erythritol and xylitol require further investigation in natural conditions and for assessing potential impact on non-target insects.

Technical Abstract: Insecticide application for vector control is the most controversial component of a public health program due to concerns about environmental safety. One approach to overcome this challenge is the use of environmentally benign active ingredients. Among the most promising emerging strategies is attractive toxic sugar baits. Sugar alcohols - naturally occurring molecules safe for human consumption but potentially toxic to insects when ingested, have received increased attention for use with this approach. For this study, we screened the toxicity of four different sugar alcohols on several mosquito species, a biting midge, and a filth fly. Sugar alcohol mortalities exceeded those in the sucrose only group. However, only erythritol and highly concentrated xylitol induced mortalities exceeding those in the water only (starvation) treatment ranging from approximately 40%-75%. Formulations containing erythritol and xylitol should be further investigated under field conditions for efficacy in reducing populations of biting Diptera and for assessing potential non-target impacts.