Heterodissemination: precision targeting container Aedes mosquitoes with a cohabiting midge species carrying insect growth regulator

Yi Wang, Devi S. Suman, Kshitij Chandel, Gregory M. Williams, Isik Unlu, Randy Gaugler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Management of Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti is challenging in large part due to the cryptic nature of their larval habitats. Autodissemination, using conspecific species to transfer pesticide, is unable to provide proactive control. Here we report results from a new hypothesis, heterodissemination, wherein females of the cohabiting non-biting midge, Chironomus decorus, reared in the laboratory, treated with pyriproxyfen, and released to transfer lethal concentrations to shared mosquito larval habitats. Results: Pyriproxyfen-impregnated oil and powder formulations were developed. The average payload for each female midge treated with oil followed by powder formulations was 5.07 ± 0.92 μg of active ingredient or 1660 times the median lethal concentration (LC50) for Ae. albopictus or Ae. aegypti in 200 mL of water. Subsequent residue analysis showed pyriproxyfen transference from chironomids, treated with oil formulation only, into water-holding containers up to 2.06 ppb or 171.7 times the LC50. Releasing 20 laboratory reared and contaminated Chironomus decorus into a small room resulted in 80.42 ± 0.67% and 75.67 ± 3.14% Ae. albopictus pupal mortality in open and cryptic sentinel ovicups, respectively. Container water volumes ranging up to 4 L did not affect efficacy. In a large field cage, 90.3 ± 2.5% Ae. albopictus mortality was resulted from releasing 100 treated female midges. Releasing 400 contaminated midges into a residential backyard resulted in 74.3% pupal mortality in sentinel ovicups. Conclusions: Room, large field cage and field release trials demonstrated that adult midges reared and treated in the laboratory transfer highly lethal concentrations of pyriproxyfen to Ae. albopictus container habitats. Heterodissemination provides a potential approach for precision, proactive mosquito control, which may draw attention for further studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2112
Number of pages8
JournalPest management science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Insect Science


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Aedes albopictus
  • Chironomus decorus
  • heterodissemination

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