Dengue (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, DENV) remains the leading arboviral cause of mortality in the tropics. Wolbachia pipientis has been shown to interrupt DENV transmission and is presently being trialled as a biological control. However, deployment issues have arisen on methods to temporarily suppress wild mosquito populations before Wolbachia-infected mosquito releases. By suppressing wild populations, fewer Ae. aegypti releases are required to achieve a sustainable Wolbachia density threshold. Furthermore, public distress is reduced. This study tests the application of domestic bleach (4% NaClO) to temporarily “crash” immature Aedes populations in water-filled containers. Spray application NaClO (215 ppm) resulted in a mean 48-h mortality of 100, 100, 97, and 88% of eggs, second-instar larvae, fourth-instar larvae, and pupae, respectively. In the field, NaClO delayed ovipositing by 9 d in cooler months, and 11 d in hotter months, after which oviposition resumed in treated receptacles. We found bleach treatment of pot-plant bases did not cause wilting, yellowing, or dropping of leaves in two ornamental plants species. Domestically available NaClO could be adopted for a “crash and release” strategy to temporarily suppress wild populations of Ae. aegypti in containers before release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes. The “crash and release” strategy is also applicable to other mosquito species, e.g., Aedes albopictus (Skuse), in strategies using released mosquitoes.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2