The behavioral responses of three colonized strains of Culex quinquefasciatus, two from recent field collections in Thailand (Nonthaburi and Mae Sot) and one from a long-established colony from the National Institute of Health (NIH), Ministry of Public Health, Thailand, were compared during and after exposure to deltamethrin (0.02 g/m2), propoxur (0.2 g/m2), and fenitrothion (0.2 g/m2) using an excito-repellency escape chamber system. We observed striking differences in behavioral response and excito-repellency between mosquito strains and test compounds. Greater escape responses were observed in the NIH strain during direct contact with deltamethrin and fenitrothion compared with the two field populations. Deltamethrin was the most irritant, followed by fenitrothion. Escape responses with propoxur were significantly delayed but increased slightly towards the end of the 30-min exposure period, more notably in the Nonthaburi strain (P<0.05). Non-contact repellent responses were generally much weaker than irritancy, with the greatest escape response seen with NIH and Nonthaburi. Deltamethrin showed the weakest repellent response overall (< 10% escape), while propoxur again demonstrated a delayed effect (NIH and Mae Sot) before escape occurred. We conclude that irritant and repellent behavioral responses by Cx. quinquefasciatus are important components for assessing the impact of residual spraying in mosquito control programs. A better understanding of chemical properties that elicit behavioral responses in mosquitoes should be considered in formulating control strategies designed to control mosquitoes or mitigate disease transmission risk.
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