Evaluating the Effects of Temperature on the Toxicity of Insecticides That Target Arbovirus Vectors in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area
Despite its well-documented preference for much more humid climates, the yellow fever mosquito, or Aedes aegypti, has inhabited Arizona since 1951. Their presence is of great concern as they can transmit many deadly diseases, including yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, and dengue fever, putting the residents of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area at risk. Maricopa County Vector Control has made an extensive effort to reduce this risk mainly through the act of fogging insecticides during the night in areas where mosquito numbers exceed a threshold. However, given the well-known temperature-toxicity relationships in insect species, fogging at night may be less or more effective —depending on the relationship— due to the colder temperatures at these times. Additionally, insecticide resistance testing has always been performed at temperatures not usually experienced during fogging, adding to the uncertainty on how useful those test outcomes are. This study took the first steps in determining the effects of temperature on the toxicity of a commonly used insecticide, deltamethrin, on Aedes aegypti by developing a dose response curve on a lab strain at a standard lab temperature of 25°C by performing a CDC bottle bioassay. The diagnostic dose was found to be 50 μg/mL and the lethal dose, 50% (LD50, the dose required to kill half of the test mosquitoes) was found to be 9 μg/mL. Future testing would need to be completed to compare the deltamethrin dose response curve developed in this study with deltamethrin dose response curves at various different temperatures.