Mosquito control is most effective when attempted in an Integrated Mosquito Management program (IMM). This includes source reduction, larviciding for the juvenile life stage of the insect, and when necessary, using adulticides to control the adult females that are capable of transmitting diseases. There are only a handful of tools in the Public Health toolbox. There are fewer than a half-dozen active ingredients in use as larvicides and only a few classes of insecticides are approved for use in the control of adult mosquitoes in flight. Pyrethroids and organophosphates are the primary active ingredients that are labeled by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in the control of adult mosquitoes in the U.S.
All pesticides used in the U.S. must be registered with the EPA. Scores of studies are required in order to obtain a registration. This process takes years of testing and work for the initial registration and costs to complete this process can exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. The EPA looks at the toxicity of the products, the length of time they persist in the environment, the breakdown products and more, and checks to ensure that the use of these products does not pose unreasonable risks to humans, the environment and/or endangered species. This registration process is repeated about every 15 years to ensure that the use of the product as labeled is unlikely to cause any adverse effect to humans or off-target animals, for instance bees, butterflies, and birds.
Naled was first registered in the late 1950’s for mosquito control and crop use and has been fully supported by AMVAC since its acquisition in 1998. This important mosquito control tool has met the requirements for continued use as a mosquito adulticide each time the re-registration was required. The EPA’s own language as a portion of the Reregistration Eligibility Decision Document states:
“…there is a probability that large outbreaks of these diseases could occur in the absence of adequate mosquito control. Naled has been described by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) as one of the principal pesticides used for adult mosquito control in the U.S. The EPA concludes that the current uses of naled in controlling mosquitos have a significant health benefit.”
There are several products labeled for public health mosquito control that are capable of killing adult mosquitoes. However, none perform as well as products containing naled, the active ingredient in Dibrom® Concentrate and Trumpet® EC. In a search of peer reviewed literature completed in 2003, as many as 100 articles on the efficacy of Dibrom® Concentrate were found. The results spanned a 39-year history of use on over 40 species of mosquitoes.
In 2016, Dibrom Concentrate was credited with stopping the transmission of disease in an urban area, when used in conjunction with a suitable larvicide in a fully integrated program.
Resistance to products used in the control of mosquitoes is a huge concern. In many places in the country, whole classes of active ingredients are much less effective than they were just a few years ago.
Resistance to pesticides can occur in mosquito populations when persistent, long-lasting products are used, or when they have been used for long periods of time.
Many of the pyrethroids are at risk of losing their effectiveness to control mosquitoes, due to widespread and sustained household and commercial use for many decades. Naled, however, breaks down rapidly in the environment and this short half-life is what has helped naled to remain effective for so many years. More persistent products, including many pyrerthroids, allow resistance to develop in the mosquito population, making some of these products less effective over time.
There are over 1,100 organized mosquito control programs around the country that protect you from nuisance and disease carrying mosquitoes.