The current Department of Defense pest management system does not provide adequate protection from arthropod disease vectors to personnel deployed in support of US military operations. We hypothesized that military camouflage netting, ubiquitous around living and working areas in current US military operations in Africa and the Middle East, treated with a residual pesticide such as bifenthrin may reduce the presence of biting insects and improve the military pest management system. In this study, we examined the longevity and efficacy of bifenthrin applied to camouflage netting material at the maximum label rate of 0.03 liter formulation (7.9% AI) per 92.9 m2 against field populations of mosquitoes in southern California in a hot-arid environment similar to regions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Horn of Africa. We showed that bifenthrin treatment of camouflage netting was effective at reducing mosquito populations, predominantly Psorophora columbiae and Aedes vexans, by an average of up to 46% for 56 days, and could cause as much as 40% mortality in Culex quinquefasciatus in laboratory bioassays for nearly 2 months postapplication. These population reductions could translate to commensurate reductions in risk of exposure to mosquito-borne pathogens, and could potentially be effective against sand flies and filth flies.
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