Deposition and Air Concentrations of Permethrin and Naled Used for Adult Mosquito Management



One of the most effective ways of managing adult mosquitoes that vector human and animal pathogens is the use of ultra-low-volume (ULV) insecticides. Because of the lack of environmental fate studies and concerns about the safety of the insecticides used for the management of adult mosquitoes, we conducted an environmental fate study after truck-mounted applications of permethrin and naled. One hour after application, concentrations of permethrin on cotton dosimeters placed at ground level 25, 50, and 75 m from the spray source were 2, 4, and 1 ng/cm2 in 2007 and 5, 2, and 0.9 ng/cm2 in 2008, respectively. One hour after application, concentrations of naled 25, 50, and 75 m were 47, 66, and 67 ng/cm2 in 2007 and 15, 6.1, and 0 (nondetectable) ng/cm2 in 2008, respectively. Deposition concentrations 12 h after application were not significantly different than 1 h after application for permethrin and naled either year. During 2007 and 2008 permethrin applications, two quantifiable air concentrations of 375 and 397 ng/m3 were observed 1 h after application. In 2007 and 2008, naled air concentrations ranged from 2300 to 4000 ng/m3 1 h after application. There were no quantifiable air concentrations between 1 and 12 h after application in either 2007 or 2008 for both naled and permethrin. Environmental concentrations observed in this study demonstrate that models used in previous risk assessments were sufficiently conservative (i.e., the models overestimated environmental concentrations). However, we also demonstrate inadequacies of models such as AgDrift® and AGDISP, which currently are used by the US Environmental Protection Agency to estimate environmental concentrations of ULV insecticides.


  1. Bilanin AJ, Teske ME, Barry JW, Ekblad RB (1989) AgDisp: the aircraft spray dispersion model, code development and experimental validation. Trans ASAE 32:327–334Google Scholar
  2. Davis RS, Peterson RKD, Macedo PA (2007) An ecological risk assessment for insecticides used in adult mosquito management. Integr Environ Assess Manag 3:373–382. doi:10.1897/1551-3793(2007)3[373:AERAFI]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Duan B, Mierzejewski K, Maczuga S (1994) Efficiency of deposition of pesticide droplets on flat cards and spheres. J Environ Sci Health B 29:1153–1167. doi:10.1080/03601239409372921 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gosselin N, Valcke M, Belleville D, Samuel O (2008) Human exposure to malathion during a possible vector-control intervention against West Nile Virus. I: methodological framework for exposure assessment. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 14:1118–1137Google Scholar
  5. Haile DG, Mount GA, Pierce NW (1982) Effect of droplet size of malathion aerosols on kill of caged adult mosquitoes. Mosq News 42:576–582Google Scholar
  6. Helsel DR (1990) Less than obvious: statistical treatment of data below the detection limit. Environ Sci Technol 24:1766–1774. doi:10.1021/es00082a001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Helsel DR (2005) Computing summary statistics. Nondetects and data analysis. Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, pp 55–79Google Scholar
  8. Ho SS, Brossard D, Scheufele DA (2007) The polls–trends–public reactions to global health threats and infectious diseases. Public Opin Q 71:671–692. doi:10.1093/poq/nfm041 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jensen T, Lawler SP, Dritz DA (1999) Effects of ultra-low volume pyrethrin, malathion, and permethrin on nontarget invertebrates, sentinel mosquitoes, and mosquitofish in seasonally impounded wetlands. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 15:330–338Google Scholar
  10. Knepper RG, Walker ED, Wagner SA, Kamrin MA, Zabik MJ (1996) Deposition of malathion and permethrin on sod grass after single, ultra-low volume applications in a suburban neighborhood in Michigan. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 12:45–51Google Scholar
  11. Lewis RG (1999) Compendium method TO-10A: determination of pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in ambient air using low volume polyurethane foam (PUF) sampling followed by gas chromatographic/multi-detector detection (GC/MD). US Environmental Protection Agency Cincinnati, OHGoogle Scholar
  12. Lofgren CS, Anthony DW, Mount GA (1973) Size of aerosol droplets impinging on mosquitoes as determined with a scanning electron microscope. J Econ Entomol 66:1085–1088Google Scholar
  13. Lubin JH, Colt JS, Camann D, Davis S, Cerhan JR, Severson RK, Bernstein L, Hartge P (2004) Epidemiologic evaluation of measurement data in the presence of detection limits. Environ Health Perspect 112:1691–1696Google Scholar
  14. Macedo PA, Peterson RKD, Davis RS (2007) Risk assessments for exposure of deployed military personnel to insecticides and personal protective measures used for disease-vector management. J Toxicol Environ Health A 70:1758–1771. doi:10.1080/15287390701459049 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Marfin AA, Gubler DJ (2001) West Nile encephalitis: an emerging disease in the United States. Clin Infect Dis 33:1713–1719. doi:10.1086/322700 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mickle RE, Samuel O, St. Laurent L, Dumas P, Rousseau G (2005) Direct comparison of deposit from aerial and ground ULV applications of malathion with AGDISP predictions. REMSpC report 2005-02. Institut national de sante publique du Quebec.Google Scholar
  17. Miller DR, Yendol WE, McManus ML (1992) On the field sampling of pesticide spray distributions using Teflon spheres and flat cards. J Environ Sci Health B 27:185–208. doi:10.1080/03601239209372774 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Moore JC, Dukes JC, Clark JR, Malone J, Hallmon CF, Hester PG (1993) Downwind drift and deposition of malathion on human targets from ground ultra-low volume mosquito sprays. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 9:138–142Google Scholar
  19. Mount GA (1998) A critical review of ultralow-volume aerosols of insecticide applied with vehicle-mounted generators for adult mosquito control. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 14:305–334Google Scholar
  20. Mount GA, Biery TL, Haile DG (1996) A review of ultralow-volume aerial sprays of insecticide for mosquito control. J Am Mosq Control Assoc 12:601–618Google Scholar
  21. Peterson RKD, Macedo PA, Davis RS (2006) A human-health risk assessment for West Nile virus and insecticides used in mosquito management. Environ Health Perspect 114:366–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pierce RH, Henry MS, Blum TC, Mueller EM (2005) Aerial and tidal transport of mosquito control pesticides into the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Rev Biol Trop 53:117–125Google Scholar
  23. Roche JP (2002) Print media coverage of risk-risk tradeoffs associated with West Nile encephalitis and pesticide spraying. J Urban Health 79:482–490. doi:10.1093/jurban/79.4.482 Google Scholar
  24. Ross J, Thongsinthusak T, Fong HR, Margetich S, Krieger R (1990) Measuring potential dermal transfer of surface pesticide residue generated from indoor fogger use: an interm report. Chemosphere 20:349–360. doi:10.1016/0045-6535(90)90066-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Schleier JJ III, Davis RS, Shama LM, Macedo PA, Peterson RKD (2008a) Equine risk assessment for insecticides used in adult mosquito management. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 14:392–407. doi:10.1080/10807030801934812 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schleier JJ III, Peterson RKD, Macedo PA, Brown DA (2008b) Environmental concentrations, fate, and risk assessment of pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide after aerial ultralow-volume applications for adult mosquito management. Environ Toxicol Chem 27:1063–1068. doi:10.1897/07-532.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schleier JJ III, Davis RS, Barber LM, Macedo PA, Peterson RKD (2009a) A probabilistic risk assessment for deployed military personnel after the implementation of the “Leishmaniasis Control Program” at Tallil Air Base, Iraq. J Med Entomol 46:693–702. doi:10.1603/033.046.0337 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Schleier JJ III, Macedo PA, Davis RS, Shama LM, Peterson RKD (2009b) A two-dimensional probabilistic acute human-health risk assessment of insecticide exposure after adult mosquito management. Stoch Environ Res Risk Assess 23:555–563. doi: 10.1007/s00477-008-0227-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Teske ME, Bird SL, Esterly DM, Curbishley TB, Ray SL, Perry SG (2002) AgDRIFT®: a model for estimating near-field spray drift from aerial applications. Environ Toxicol Chem 21:659–671. doi:10.1897/1551-5028(2002)021<0659:AAMFEN>2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Teske ME, Thistle HW, Mickle RE (2000) Modeling finer droplet aerial spray drift and deposition. Appl Eng Agric 16:351–357Google Scholar
  31. Thier A (2001) Balancing the risks: vector control and pesticide use in response to emerging illness. J Urban Health 78:372–381. doi:10.1093/jurban/78.2.372 Google Scholar
  32. Tietze NS, Hester PG, Shaffer KR (1994) Mass recovery of malathion in simulated open field mosquito adulticide tests. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 26:473–477. doi:10.1007/BF00214149 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tietze NS, Hester PG, Shaffer KR, Wakefield FT (1996) Peridomestic deposition of ultra-low volume malathion applied as a mosquito adulticide. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 56:210–218. doi:10.1007/s001289900032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Tucker JW, Thompson CQ, Wang TC, Lenahan RA (1987) Toxicity of organophosphorous insecticides to estuarine copepods and young fish after field applications. J Florida Anti-Mosq Assoc 58:1–6Google Scholar
  35. USEPA (2002) Interim reregistration eligibility decision for naled. Case No. 0092. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, pp 1–148Google Scholar
  36. USEPA (2006) Reregistration eligibility decision (RED) for permethrin. Case No. 2510. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, pp 1–95Google Scholar
  37. USEPA (2008). Memorandum from B. Daiss, Reregistration Branch 4, to J. Howenstine, Reregistration Branch 1 Special Review and Registration Division, and A. Sibold, Insecticide Branch Registration Division. Re: d-Phenothrin (Sumithrin®) Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) Document PC Code No. 069005; DP Barcode No. 326933. US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  38. Valcke M, Gosselin N, Belleville D (2008) Human exposure to malathion during a possible vector-control intervention against West Nile Virus. II: evaluation of the toxicological risks using a probabilistic approach. Hum Ecol Risk Assess 14:1138–1158Google Scholar
  39. Weidhaas DE, Bowman MC, Mount GA, Lofgren CS, Ford HR (1970) Relationship of minimum lethal dose to optimum size of droplets of insecticides for mosquito control. Mosq News 30:195–200Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome J. SchleierIII
    • 1
  • Robert K. D. Peterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Land Resources and Environmental SciencesMontana State UniversityBozemanUSA

Personalised recommendations