EARTH FILL INCREASES EFFICACY AND LONGEVITY OF λ-CYHALOTHRIN RESIDUAL INSECTCIDE TREATMENT OF HESCO® BLAST WALL GEOTEXTILE
The prevention of vector-borne disease to protect the health and readiness of United States forces in the field continues to be a high priority for the US Department of Defense. Previous studies have demonstrated that the risk of human contact with disease-vector mosquitoes and other biting flies can be reduced by applying an insecticide to perimeters of military materials such as camouflage netting or HESCO blast protection wall geotextile already in place around troops in the field. In this study we investigated whether residual pesticide efficacy will persist in the presence of earth fill that is required for operational use of HESCOs, using a warm temperate field site in north Florida. Results from laboratory bioassays measuring mosquito mortality and field collections of natural mosquito populations indicated superior efficacy and greater longevity of pesticide treated geotextile exposed to soil fill. These findings not only support immediate implementation of this technique in US military field scenarios, but also provide evidence that HESCO technology currently used in natural disaster flood control could be leveraged to protect civilian personnel from emerging floodwater mosquitoes.