The Urban Biology Division uses a variety of pesticides for mosquito control.
Mosquito Pesticide InformationManufacturer labels provide legally binding instructions for proper storage, handling and application of pesticides. The label is regulated by the EPA and ensures that risks to humans, non-target species and the environment are minimized.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provide information regarding potential hazards to human health and the environment associated with handling of pesticides. This information is based on experimental evaluation, and must be interpreted with caution. Many exposures described in MSDS information are unlikely to occur outside of industrial settings, or reflect concentrations far greater than would ever occur outside of laboratory settings.
Integrated Pest Management
- In keeping with Integrated Pest Management principles, various methods are employed to control mosquitoes without relying exclusively on pesticides.
- Use of pesticides for chemical control is frequently required as part of the overall control strategy.
Urban Biology Selected Pesticides
- The Urban Biology Division selects pesticides that have the least impact on non-target organisms and the environment.
- Pesticides are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and undergo rigorous testing.
- Only pesticides considered to have minimal toxic effects to humans and the environment when used according to instructions are registered for legal use.
Safe Use of Pesticides
- Urban Biology staff members are licensed pesticide applicators, and receive initial and annual training in safe handling and application of pesticides that far exceeds the industry requirements.
- Training and certification ensure that pesticides are used safely and judiciously.
Adult Mosquito Control
Pyrethrins & Synthetic Pyrethroids
- The Urban Biology Division's mosquito spraying program uses synthetic pyrethroids predominantly for adult mosquito control.
- Pyrethrum is a natural insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower; pyrethrins are naturally occurring components of this compound.
- Synthetic pyrethroids are artificially created variants of natural pyrethrin.
- Pyrethrins and synthetic pyrethroids are widely used for chemical control of insects.
- These products are nerve toxins. Toxicity is achieved through interference with sodium ion channels in insect nerve tissue.
- These chemicals have extremely low toxicity to humans and other mammals as they rapidly break down.
- Environmental persistence of these chemicals is extremely low, and they rapidly break down in sunlight.
|Pyrethrins & Synthetic Pyrethroids|
- The Urban Biology Division's mosquito spraying program uses organophosphates for adult mosquito control only periodically. Rotation to different chemical classes every few years is a necessity to help prevent insecticide resistance.
- There are many types and brands of organophosphate insecticides in use for all types of insectcontrol. Urban Biology uses chlorpyrifos-based products
- These products are nerve toxins. Toxicity is achieved through blocking the activity of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholinesterase.
- Toxicity to humans and other mammals is slightly higher than with pyrethrin class insecticides, but still considered very low due to rapid metabolic breakdown.
- Environmental persistence is slightly higher than with pyrethrin class products but still very low
- Urban Biology does not use Malathion-based products for mosquito control.
Information on organophosphates Urban Biology often uses:
Immature Mosquito Control
- Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus are naturally occurring
- Bacteria that are toxic to developing mosquito larvae.
- When ingested by mosquito larvae these bacteria produce toxins that impair the larvae's ability to digest food, and they die of starvation
- These toxic effects are highly specific to certain types of insects and are not dangerous to humans or in most cases to other insects
- These products prevent developing mosquito larvae from reaching maturity by mimicking insect hormones.
- Growth regulation is specific to certain species and toxicity to humans and other species is considered to be non-existent.
- These products do not actually kill larvae, but prevent them from maturing; they are effective for very long periods.
Insect Growth Regulators
Information on biological pesticides Urban Biology often uses:
|FourStar Briquets (Bacillus species)||Label||MSDS|
|Altosid XR Briquets (methoprene)||Label||MSDS|
- Mosquito larvae must breathe oxygen at the surface of the water where they breed in order to survive.
- Surface films can interfere with the larvae reaching the surface, and they will asphyxiate.
- This method of killing larvae relies on a physical mechanism rather than chemical, so toxicity and development of chemical resistance are essentially non-existent.
- Monomolecular surface film, made from natural plant oils, require only a single molecular layer to change the surface tension of the water and prevent the larvae from reaching the surface; these products are very cost-effective due to low use volume.
- The product that the Urban Biology mosquito control program uses is labeled as safe for use on potable water sources.
Monomolecular Surface Film
Information on monomolecular surface film Urban Biology uses: