Controlling insect pest such as mosquitoes, ticks, bed bugs, cockroaches, and filth flies are a major concern when strategies involve pesticides. Many insects become resistant to pesticides from overuse, which can genetically or environmentally change how insects respond to pesticides. As military personnel travel to various locations for deployment, humanitarian efforts, or permanent change of stations; Soldiers, dependents, and Civilian personnel are potentially at risk of being exposed to vector-borne diseases. Understanding different modes of action and classes of pesticides used are key to reducing resistance and improving control efforts.
Integrated Pest Management should be in all planning considerations when combating insects. Factors to consider in your abatement program are:
1. Public Education and Awareness. Residents should be empowered with the same knowledge as the pest controller. Communities should understand that source reduction, (e.g., eliminating standing water, disposing unused debris, or anything that potentially serves as harborage) should be considered first before applying pesticides and why.
2. Who is spraying what? Inexperienced individuals should seek guidance from DPW Pest Control or the Army Public Health Center Pesticide Hotline (https://phc.amedd.army.mil/topics/envirohealth/epm/Pages/DoD-Pesticide-Hotline.aspx) prior to combatting the issues on your own. Pesticides used on base that are acquired from self-help or applied by the DPW Pest Control are tracked and instrumental in identifying trends and use. Understanding what has been applied not only reduces overuse, but also ensures the correct target pest is controlled with the appropriate chemical. This is also why public education and awareness is important.
3. Surveillance. DPW Pest Control, Army Public Health Commands, and the Environmental Health section at military treatment families should conduct pre and post surveillance if chemical control is being used. Surveillance is highly recommended in all chemical efforts, as it provides identification of the target pest, quantifies insect populations, and serves as a baseline to compare if control effort were successful. Surveillance is also a method for determining if the right formulation is being used when control efforts are diminishing.
4. Managing Resistance. Alternating chemical classes are vital and a step in the right direction for reducing resistance!
Resistance Testing Services:
Have mosquito control issues? No problem. Pyrethroid resistance testing for mosquitoes are done by looking for knockdown resistance (kdr) mutations using PCR. Diagnostic dose (DD) and diagnostic time (DT) resistance can also be determined useing the CDC Bottle Assay.
Service are underway, so stay tuned!