Evaluation of methionine as a larvicide, and its potential for use in mosquito IPM

Principal Investigator: Emma Weeks

Mosquito larvicides are an effective means of source reduction, controlling the population size so that the number of adult females that are present to bite and potentially spread pathogenic organisms is decreased. Currently utilized mosquito larvicides include insect growth regulators, organophosphates, oils and microbial agents.As resistance has developed to the  organophosphate, e.g. temephos, and microbial, e.g. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTi), larvicides that are commonly used alternativesare urgently needed. Amino acids, including essential amino acids such as L-methionine, have been shown to work as effective larvicides. Our study aims to evaluate the toxicity of methionine as a mosquito larvicide alone and in combination with existing larval control techniques by studying the effect of the chemical in several pestiferous mosquito genera, evaluating efficacy in combination with BTi and checking for non-target effects in other organisms that may be exposed to the treatment. Our study and potential 'product' will benefit mosquito and vector control districts and the public nationally and internationally by providing them with a new environmentally sustainable tool that they can use for control of pestiferous mosquitoes.