By Austin M. Frishman, Ph.D.
With humans now contracting the Zika virus from mosquitoes in southeast Florida, it is imperative for pest management professionals (PMPs) to pay attention to the latest news updates and be knowledgeable of the control methods it takes to protect public health. This means staying informed and knowing the best ways to control mosquitoes in any given environment, often in unexpected places.
For example, government buildings in Miami-Dade County, where Zika-carrying mosquitoes are present, have removed all bromeliad plants because they are known to hold water where mosquitoes can live and breed. Authorities there have suggested that homeowners do the same. If they choose not to, recommend that your customers add a few drops of mineral oil in the water situated at the base of the bromeliad leaves. They should replenish the oil about once every three weeks.
More generally, when inspecting properties, always look for and inform your customers of potential breeding areas – expected and inconspicuous. Here is a list of locations to help you get started:
- Sump pumps in basement
- Dishes collecting water under potted plants (empty and add sand)
- Drains (often hidden)
- Rain gutters
- Bird baths
- Soda caps
- Toys left outside
- Empty beer cans
- Rubber tires
- Graveyard vases containing flowers
- Tree holes
- Weighted bases on portable basketball nets
- Natural containers (old snail shells)
- Naturally-created water (holes dug by crabs, hoof prints)
- Small ponds
- Swimming pools
- Covers on swimming pools or boats
- Window A/C units (check the drain pan)
- Drip pan under refrigerators or coolers
More mosquito management resources for PMPs:
In 2015, Syngenta launched the SecureChoice™ Mosquito Assurance Program, and field tests have proven it to be quite successful. The SecureChoice program combines two products into a single tank mix for a one-two punch.
- Demand® CS insecticide at 0.06% provides quick and residual control via iCAP™ technology, a range of different sized microcapsules. The smaller microcaps release product shortly after application while the larger microcaps release gradually to provide extended residual control.
- Archer® insect growth regulator at 0.01% adversely affects the reproductive cycle of mosquitoes by preventing larval development, resulting in fewer adults. This also contributes to lengthening the days of control.
The lambda-cyhalothrin capsules in the SecureChoice program are approved by the World Health Organization for mosquito vector control and are also used in mosquito nets to protect against malaria in Africa, Asia and Latin America. If the specified application of Demand CS and Archer fail to provide adequate reduction of mosquito populations during the 60-day treatment period, Syngenta will provide the appropriate quantity of Demand CS and Archer to cover the retreatment(s). You can view the SecureChoice Mosquito Assurance Program Application Training video here.
The right tools and practices can help PMPs mitigate the threat mosquitoes are imposing on our society. Always make sure you’re staying informed.
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©2016 Syngenta. Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Archer®, Demand®, For Life Uninterrupted™, iCAP™, SecureChoice™ and the Syngenta logo are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Syngenta Customer Center: 1-866-SYNGENT(A) (796-4368).