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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


WOOD, Edgardo et al. A new tactic for Triatoma infestans control: fabrics impregnated with beta-cypermethrin. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.6, n.1, pp.1-7. ISSN 1680-5348.

Triatoma infestans is the most important vector of Chagas’ disease in Argentina. Experiences from Argentine national campaigns have shown indoor spraying to control triatomine bugs is both expensive and difficult. An alternative control method may be the use of pyrethroid- impregnated fabrics (PIFs), which could be both a practical and cheap complement to conventional control measures. In this study, a formulation of emulsifiable concentrate of b-cypermethrin [a-cyano-3-phenoxybenzyl-3- (2,2-dichlorovinyl) -2,2-dimethylcyclopropanecarboxilate] pyrethroid was used to impregnate different fabrics. The fabrics were then tested for their efficacy and persistence in killing Triatoma infestans. Insects attempting to penetrate or grasp the fabric in search of blood meals were poisoned by the exposure to the absorbed pyrethroid. Laboratory bioassays showed that the insecticidal effect of the PIFs with a dosage of 0.2 g/m2 lasted longer on wool than on cotton or rayon. Eight months after impregnation, a residual efficacy of 100% was found for wool, 80% for rayon-cotton fabrics, and 50% for rayon- polyester fabrics. In addition, b-cypermethrin-impregnated fabrics showed a better repellency effect than did fabrics impregnated with either deltamethrin or cypermethrin. For field trials, fabrics were impregnated either in the laboratory or "in situ" at a dosage of 1 g b-cypermethrin/m2 and then dried. The PIFs were placed inside homes, either under the roof or under the bed mattress. The field trials showed the PIF approach to be very effective in keeping dwellings free of triatomine bugs for at least one year and found a high degree of acceptability among the houses’ residents.

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