In most of the U.S., the unwelcome buzz of mosquitoes is synonymous with the hottest months of summer. The American Mosquito Control Association estimates there are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, with nearly 200 species in the U.S. These winged parasites aren’t just annoying – they are also dangerous. More than a million people worldwide die from mosquito-related illnesses every year. They can also carry and transmit diseases that affect other animals like horses and dogs.
Controlling mosquito-borne illnesses is important to the health and wellness of everybody. When it comes to mosquito control there are a wide variety of chemicals to use depending on control application. Mosquito control can be implemented for an outbreak or just to eliminate the amount of mosquitos during specific seasons.
There are three common chemicals used in mosquito control. All three chemicals are used for controlling mosquitos in different applications.
Larvicides are chemicals designed to be applied directly to water to control mosquito larvae. These target the larvae in breeding habitats to eliminate the bugs before they become mature mosquitos.
Adulticides are chemicals that state and county departments use more frequently, especially when trying to control a heavy infestation. These chemicals are used in fogging and spraying and generally kill adult mosquitos upon contact.
Synergists are not toxic to the mosquitos, but this chemical makes the adulticides more effective when fogging or spraying. Common synergists include piperonyl butoxide and MGK-264.
MOSQUITO CHEMICAL HAZARDS AND CONTROL
Methoprene is the acting ingredient found in adulticides. It prevents insect growth and behaves like a hormone in insects. It also interferes with future growth and development. Methoprene is available in over 500 pesticides and is commonly added to insecticide products because it affects the insects that survive exposure to other related pesticides.
METHOPRENE STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS
Methoprene should be stored in a cool, dry climate-controlled environment. It can be stored for up to 12 months. When applying chemical solutions it should be prepared and used on the same day.
Store mosquito control chemicals inside an enclosed chemical storage container with an EPA-compliant spill containment sump. Proper ventilation and climate controls are necessary with specific types of mosquito chemicals. Store away from heat, flame or static electricity. Do not reuse or refill containers being used to store chemicals. For disposal of chemical storage containers, contact your local hazmat waste department.
Mosquito control chemicals are harmful if absorbed through the skin, eyes, or clothing. Always wear proper personal protection equipment when handling. If methoprene or any other mosquito control chemical comes in contact with skin, clothing, or eyes, follow the first aid steps below:
Skin or Clothing: Rinse skin immediately with lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes. Take off contaminated clothing immediately before touching skin. Contact a poison control center for advice.
Eyes: If chemicals are splashed into eyes, immediately rinse eyes with water for 15-20 minutes. Remove glasses or contact lenses before doing so. Call a poison control specialist for more information and treatment.
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