In the case of contaminants that are commercially available and introduced by humans, understanding where and how often a product is used is critical in assessing its ecological impact. By contextualizing a product's ecotoxicological impact with details regarding its application, we can provide a more complete characterization of the product's environmental risk than is possible with ecotoxicological data alone. We conducted an ecotoxicology experiment to examine the interaction between predator-induced stress and one of three common mosquito insecticide formulations (Mosquito Dunks, Mosquito Bits, and Mosquito Torpedoes) on the performance of Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles and changes in aquatic communities in pond mesocosms. Then, to describe the extent to which each product was applied in the region surrounding our study area, we conducted a survey of mosquito insecticide practices by individuals who owned or managed property within U.S. Environmental Protection Agency region seven. When applied in the presence of predators, Mosquito Torpedo use resulted in the lowest tadpole survival rates. Mosquito Dunks also reduced tadpole survival when applied in the context of predators (P = 0.06), and Mosquito Bits had no effect on tadpole survival. Of land managers who applied a mosquito insecticide, 5% used Mosquito Bits, 5% used Mosquito Torpedoes, and 81% used Mosquito Dunks. Despite the fact that Mosquito Torpedoes appear to have more severe negative effects on tadpole survival than do Mosquito Dunks, the widespread use of Mosquito Dunks by individuals in our survey leads us to recommend that future research efforts be directed toward Mosquito Dunks.
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Vol. 49 • No. 1