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Environmental Health Insights

Variable Efficacy of Extended-release Mosquito Larvicides Observed in Catch Basins in the Northeast Chicago Metropolitan Area

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Environmental Health Insights 2016:10 65-68

Short Report

Published on 13 Apr 2016

DOI: 10.4137/EHI.S38096


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Abstract

Since the mid-1990s, the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) has applied extended-release formulations of mosquito larvicides to approximately 50,000 catch basins in the suburbs north of Chicago, IL, USA. This is performed as part of NSMAD’s efforts to reduce local populations of the West Nile virus vector, Culex pipiens. Analyses from NSMAD’s monitoring of larvicide-treated basins throughout the District over the 2014 and 2015 seasons suggest that larvicides intended to provide extended durations of control (30–180 days) failed to provide control for the maximum duration specified on the product label in approximately 25% of the District’s basins. For larvicides designed to last up to 180 days (or about 26 weeks), failures were found at 1–15 weeks after treatment with most found at five weeks posttreatment. For larvicides formulated to last up to 30 days, failures were found at one to four weeks after applications with most found at three weeks posttreatment. The highest percentages of failing basins (ie, containing late-stage mosquito larvae or pupae during the specified product effectiveness period) were found in communities on the eastern side of the District, bordering Lake Michigan. As the larvicides appeared to function properly in the majority of monitored basins, it appears that the failures likely resulted from basin-specific physical factors (ie, basin volume, sediment content, and hydrology) that cause either product removal or a reduction in the concentration of the larvicide’s active ingredient below the effective levels in these basins.



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