The effectiveness of a novel fuselage boom configuration was tested with flat-fan nozzles on US Air Force C-130H aircraft to create ultra-low volume sprays to control mosquitoes (Culicidae) and biting midges (Ceratopogonidae). The mortality of mosquitoes and biting midges in bioassay cages and natural populations, using the organophosphate adulticide, naled, was measured. Mosquitoes in bioassay cages had 100% mortality at 639 m downwind in all single-pass spray trials, and most trials had >90% mortality up to 1,491 m downwind. Mosquito mortality was negatively correlated with distance from the spray release point (r2 = 0.38, P < 0.001). The volume median diam of droplets collected was 44 µm at 213 m and decreased to 11 µm at 2,130 m downwind of the release point. Droplet density decreased from an average of 18.4 drops/cm2 at 213 m to 2 drops/cm2 at 2,130 m. Droplet densities of 10-18 droplets/cm2 were recorded at sampling stations with high mosquito mortality rates (>90%). In wide-area operational applications, numbers of mosquitoes from natural populations 1 wk postspray were 83% (range 55%–95%), lower than prespray numbers (P < 0.05). Biting midge numbers were reduced by 86% (range 53%–97%) on average (P = 0.051) after 7 days. The results of these field trials indicate that the fuselage boom configuration on C-130H aircraft are an effective method to conduct large-scale aerial sprays during military operations and public health emergencies.
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Vol. 25 • No. 4