Bromeliads serve as a key environmental resource for Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in some peridomestic landscapes and are not addressed through conventional source reduction. As an alternative, three handheld sprayers were evaluated in point-source applications of permethrin to bromeliads in Saint Augustine, FL. Each machine was screened for its utility in point-source harborage treatments, while we simultaneously evaluated bromeliad-focused treatments for reducing Ae. albopictus egg abundance in bromeliad plants. Semi-field tests against caged Ae. albopictus produced 100% mortality at 24 h with each sprayer. Three field sites were assigned to each machine and a control, and bromeliad residual applications of Aqualuer 20-20® were assessed through egg surveillance using ovitraps both within and beyond 30 m of the treated bromeliad harborage. The treatment decreased Ae. albopictus egg abundance across the field sites for three weeks post-treatment with no significant differences among the equipment. Functional differences among machines, such as automated pressure control or leak guards on the nozzle, depend on the accessories that offer the greatest logistical benefit to the user. The field results suggest bromeliads are a viable target for harborage treatments. Selective treatments to bromeliads could offer a possible solution to containers that homeowners refuse to eliminate.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2