Factors influencing pyrethroid barrier spray effectiveness against Aedes mosquitoes

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Virginia Tech

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse), is a worldwide nuisance pest that is capable of vectoring several viruses of public health concern. This invasive mosquito has recently expanded its habitable range through its utilization of artificial breeding sites, often due to the activity of humans. These factors, combined with additional expansion due to global changes in climate, have led to invigorated efforts to mitigate the impact of Ae. albopictus. Because it is a diurnal species, standard mosquito control efforts utilizing spray trucks or planes to administer insecticides offer little control, as these methods are directed towards crepuscular species. Barrier spray applications, however, have been shown to achieve a significant reduction in local mosquito pressure while requiring less insecticide application. The design behind barrier sprays is to apply insecticide treatments only around areas of interest, instead of trying to eradicate the local population of mosquitoes.

These studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of different pyrethroid barrier treatments against Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, and to examine the impact of the most effective treatment on local mosquito populations when applied to suburban residences. Three pyrethroids were examined in these studies: Demand® CS (lambda-cyhalothrin), Talstar® Professional (bifenthrin), and Suspend® Polyzone® (deltamethrin). The following factors affecting pyrethroid barrier treatments showed significant impacts on the knockdown and mortality rates of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes: the plant species, the label rate at which treatments were applied, the active ingredient used in the treatment applications, the time of exposure to the treated foliage, the presence/absence of a blood meal in the mosquito, and the time after treatment. Demand CS treatments showed the highest proportions of knockdown and mortality in adult female Ae. albopictus mosquitoes and did so for the longest amount of time, regardless of the length of the exposure time. Because the Demand CS formulation of lambda-cyhalothrin was shown to be the most effective treatment in the previous studies, it was applied as a barrier treatment to suburban residences in Roanoke, Virginia, in a field trial. Applications of Demand CS as a barrier spray were shown to significantly reduce mosquito catch numbers inside the treated barrier throughout the 8 week study, as compared to the control properties. The findings of these studies indicate that many factors, pertaining to both the insecticides used and to the environment in which they are applied, play a role in influencing the efficacy of a pyrethroid barrier treatment for the control of Aedes mosquitoes. Thus, it is important to gather relevant information before the application of a barrier spray treatment to design the most appropriate program for the situation.

Barrier spray, Aedes, lambda-cyhalothrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, plant species, blood meal