By Dr. Nicky Gallagher, Technical Services Manager, Syngenta Professional Pest Management
In the early 2000s, mosquitoes were the center of attention due to a West Nile virus outbreak in the U.S. More than fifteen years later, mosquitoes are once again in the national spotlight, and your customers may be calling you and asking what can be done to control them.
This recent concern is due to Zika virus, a disease transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito that may have an association between infections in pregnant women and birth defects. In 2015, Zika outbreaks were reported in the Western Hemisphere for the first time in Central and South America, the Caribbean and Mexico. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika transmissions are expected to increase throughout the region, increasing the incidence of infection in returning travelers and the possibility of local transmission in the U.S.1
The principle mosquitoes of concern are the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), and its close relative, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). These mosquitoes readily feed on humans and are closely associated with human habitats, often laying their eggs in containers that are manmade (such as tires and rain gutters) or natural (such as tree holes). Adult mosquitoes tend to rest in vegetation when they are not seeking a blood meal.
This map displays the approximate distribution of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) in the U.S. Source: CDC, accessed February 22, 2016.
Traditional mosquito control methods of truck-mounted and aerial sprays have proven ineffective in controlling Aedes mosquitoes2. Barrier treatments, however, are an effective and proven method of managing these pests3, 4.
- A barrier can be made by treating all vegetation, including but not limited to trees, bushes and shrubbery, from ground level up to a height of about 10 feet with a residual insecticide labeled for mosquitoes.
- Backpack misters are ideal for these applications, as they forcibly disperse droplets into dense vegetation and underneath leaves.
- Other common mosquito resting sites, including under decks, near drainage spouts and other shady, moist areas, should be included in the barrier treatment area.
To effectively manage mosquito populations, the SecureChoice™ Mosquito Assurance Program from Syngenta Professional Pest Management can provide your customers a significant reduction in mosquito populations for up to 60 days. The program protocol recommends the use of the Demand® CS insecticide + Archer® insect growth regulator Multipak, which contains two quarts of Demand CS and five pints of Archer. Demand CS features a microencapsulated formulation that delivers more than 10,000 microcaps per square inch of coverage. To complement Demand CS, Archer interrupts the life cycle of mosquitoes, causing them to lay non-viable eggs and preventing larvae from developing into adults.
Be prepared for mosquitoes this season with the right information and appropriate tools you need. For more information, visit www.SyngentaPMP.com/Mosquito or contact your local Syngenta territory manager.
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Surveillance and Control of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States. http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/resources/vector-control.html. Accessed on February 22, 2016.
2 http://www.mosquito.org/mosquito-borne-diseases. Accessed on February 26, 2016.
3 Hubbard, J. L., R.T. Trout, G.C. Brown, M.F. Potter. 2005. Do backyard mosquito sprays work Pest Control Technol. 33 (44), 46-50.
4 Trout, R. T., G.C. Brown, M.F. Potter, J.L. Hubbard. 2007. Efficacy of two pyrethroid insecticides applied as barrier treatments for managing mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) populations in suburban residential properties. J. Med. Entomol. 44 (3), 470-477.
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