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An autodissemination station for the transfer of an insect growth regulator to mosquito oviposition sites

Medical and veterinary entomology 2012 v.26 no.1 pp. 37-45
Aedes albopictus, adults, cages, cardboard, containers, corn starch, gravid females, habitats, insect growth regulators, insects, laboratory techniques, larvae, males, oviposition sites, ovipositor, powders, prototypes, pyriproxyfen, risk, silica, virgin females
A prototype autodissemination station to topically contaminate oviposition‐seeking container‐dwelling mosquitoes with the insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, was developed and tested in the laboratory. Our test subject was the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae), an urban species that colonizes small‐volume cryptic larval habitats and is a skip ovipositor that visits multiple containers. The station consists of a water reservoir to attract gravid females, which is joined to a transfer chamber designed to contaminate visiting mosquitoes. The unit is easily constructed by moulding wet shredded cardboard using corn starch as a binder. The essential criteria that must be met to prove the efficacy of an autodissemination station require it to demonstrate effectiveness in attracting the target insect, in transferring the toxicant to the insect that will disperse the agent, and in facilitating the subsequent transfer of the toxicant from the insect to target habitats at a lethal concentration. Cage experiments demonstrated that the unit was readily accepted by gravid females as an oviposition site. A powder formulation of pyriproxyfen‐impregnated silica particles adhered to visiting Ae. albopictus females (mean: 66 particles/female), although particles were lost over time. In cage (2.2 m3) trials, pyriproxyfen‐charged stations resulted in 100% inhibition of adult emergence, whereas in small‐room (31.1 m3) trials, 81% emergence inhibition was recorded. The venereal transfer of pyriproxyfen from contaminated males to virgin females was also observed, and pyriproxyfen was subsequently transferred to water‐holding containers at concentrations that inhibited emergence. Key autodissemination station features include lack of maintenance requirements, biodegradable construction, low cost and low risk.