Efficacy of Specifically-Developed Petroleum Hydrocarbons as Anopheles Control Agents

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  • Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Esso Research and Engineering Company, Baytown Petroleum Research Laboratory, Galveston, Texas 77550
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During the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent that the ecologic and other implications of insecticide usage in malaria control programs are such that residual adulticides can no longer be relied upon as the only control measure. As a part of a long-term program designed to develop superior vector control agents, we evaluated in the laboratory three recently-developed petroleum derivatives which have a very low order of toxicity to fish, wildlife and humans. Applications to the water surface at the rate of 0.5 to 1 gal/acre (4.6–9.35 liters/hectare) resulted in virtually complete mortality of Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Anopheles albimanus larvae, depending upon the instar. The A. albimanus larvae were somewhat more susceptible. Application rates of 0.25 to 0.5 gal/acre (2.4–4.6 liters/hectare) produced complete kills of pupae of both species. Such petroleum-based larvicides can appropriately be integrated into malaria control programs 1) as an adjunct to intradomiciliary treatments, 2) in areas where residual applications to dwellings are not used, 3) where the vectors are exophilic and exophagic, 4) in areas of restricted breeding, 5) where resistance has rendered residual adulticides ineffective, and 6) where environmental safety is important.

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