Ambient insecticides are receiving increasing attention in many developed countries because of their value in reducing mosquito nuisance. As required by the European Union Biocidal Products Regulation 528/2012, these devices require appropriate testing of their efficacy, which is based on estimating the knockdown and mortality rates of free-flying (free) mosquitoes in a test room. However, evaluations using free mosquitoes present many complexities. The performances of 6 alternative methods with mosquitoes held in 2 different cage designs (steel wire and gauze/plastic) with and without an operating fan for air circulation were monitored in a test room through a closed-circuit television system and were compared with the currently recommended method using free mosquitoes. Results for caged mosquitoes without a fan showed a clearly delayed knockdown effect, whereas outcomes for caged mosquitoes with a fan recorded higher mortality at 24 h, compared to free mosquitoes. Among the 6 methods, cages made of gauze and plastic operating with fan wind speed at 2.5–2.8 m/sec was the only method without a significant difference in results for free mosquitoes, and therefore appears as the best alternative to assess knockdown by ambient insecticides accurately.
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