Protecting the U.S. Military

Doing Our Part to Protect the U.S. Military

ARS has tremendous expertise dealing with agricultural insects. As a result, ARS scientists partnered with our Nation’s military to develop products that protect military personnel from insect-transmitted diseases such as malaria, epidemic typhus, dengue fever, and more recently West Nile and Zika virus. ARS made two advances this past year to protect U.S. troops from insects. First, ARS researchers completed a study for a new U.S. military clothing treatment that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved for registration. When applied, this product can protect the wearer from insect bites and is suitable for undergarments and clothing made of multiple fabric types. The protocol used during this study will become an EPA guideline for future registration of repellent-treated clothing.

ARS made another important advancement in protecting our military by demonstrating that applying aerial insecticide treatments to U.S. military blast walls containing geotextile material and radar-scattering camouflage netting reduces adult mosquito populations. This study also provided additional evidence that existing models used to guide U.S. aerial pesticide application do not adequately represent actual spray deposit. These findings will be integrated into future versions of the Mobile Pesticide App to improve spray application and will better track spray droplet deposit.

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