A rise in the incidence of mosquito-transmitted Cache Valley virus (CVV) in lambs in 2011 prompted a study to evaluate on-animal pyrethroid insecticides to reduce mosquito attacks on sheep. Using enclosure traps for 1 night per wk for 6 wk, we compared engorgement rates of mosquitoes given the opportunity to feed on untreated sheep and sheep treated with 1 Python® insecticide ear tag (containing 10% zeta-cypermethrin and 20% piperonyl butoxide) per animal or 2 synergized permethrin body spray treatments (containing 2.5% permethrin and 2.5% piperonyl butoxide). During the 6-wk study, 18,920 mosquitoes were collected in the animal-baited enclosure traps. Thirteen species were identified from these collections with the floodwater species Aedes increpitus and Ae. idahoensis making up 68% of the total. Potential CVV vector species, making up 25% of the samples, included Ae. vexans, Ae. dorsalis, Culex tarsalis, and Culiseta inornata. Traps baited with untreated sheep collected 9,701 mosquitoes with 65% of these engorged. Traps baited with sheep treated with Python ear tags or permethrin spray collected 4,034 and 4,555, respectively, with engorgement rates of 23% and 35%. Blood feeding on ear-tagged sheep was significantly reduced by as much as 90% compared to the untreated sheep, and protection lasted 4 wk or longer. Permethrin spray treatments were most effective within 24 h after application and provided better protection against Ae. dorsalis than the Python tag. Effectiveness of the permethrin spray diminished 1 wk after the 2nd application was made. The effect of these treatments appeared to be repellency because negligible mosquito mortality was observed at the time of collection. Further evaluation of these insecticides under conditions of natural exposure to a mosquito-borne pathogen is warranted.
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