Aerial applications of granular insecticides are preferable because they can effectively penetrate vegetation, there is less drift, and no loss of product due to evaporation. We aimed to 1) assess the field efficacy of VectoBac G to control Aedes vigilax (Skuse) in saltmarsh pools, 2) develop a stochastic-modeling procedure to monitor application quality, and 3) assess the distribution of VectoBac G after an aerial application. Because ground-based studies with Ae. vigilax immatures found that VectoBac G provided effective control below the recommended label rate of 7 kg/ha, we trialed a nominated aerial rate of 5 kg/ha as a case study. Our distribution pattern modeling method indicated that the variability in the number of VectoBac G particles captured in catch-trays was greater than expected for 5 kg/ha and that the widely accepted contour mapping approach to visualize the deposition pattern provided spurious results and therefore was not statistically appropriate. Based on the results of distribution pattern modeling, we calculated the catch tray size required to analyze the distribution of aerially applied granular formulations. The minimum catch tray size for products with large granules was 4 m2 for Altosid pellets and 2 m2 for VectoBac G. In contrast, the minimum catch-tray size for Altosid XRG, Aquabac G, and Altosand, with smaller granule sizes, was 1 m2. Little gain in precision would be made by increasing the catch-tray size further, when the increased workload and infrastructure is considered. Our improved methods for monitoring the distribution pattern of aerially applied granular insecticides can be adapted for use by both public health and agricultural contractors.
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Vol. 102 • No. 2