Intensive early season adulticide applications decrease arbovirus transmission throughout the Coachella Valley, Riverside County, California

Hugh D. Lothrop, Branka B. Lothrop, Donald E. Gomsi, William Reisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In the Coachella Valley of California the seasonal onset of St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV), western equine encephalomyelitis virus (WEEV), and West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected consistently at the shoreline of the Salton Sea near the community of North Shore. The timing and intensity of initial amplification in the Culex tarsalis Coquillett/wild bird cycle at this focus seemed closely linked to the subsequent dispersal of virus to the rest of the Coachella Valley and perhaps southern California. In 2004, an attempt was made to interrupt the amplification and dispersal of WNV using ground ultra-low volume (ULV) applications of Pyrenone 25-5®. Although these localized treatments were started 1 month after the initial detection in April, surveillance indicated no dispersal from this focus at this time. However, these treatments appeared to have little effect, and WNV eventually was detected throughout the valley, with seven human cases reported in the urbanized upper valley near Palm Springs. In 2005, the initial detection of WNV at North Shore at the end of May was followed rapidly by dispersal throughout the valley precluding efforts at containment. Evaluation of ground and aerial applications at North Shore during May and June 2005, respectively, indicated variable kill of sentinel mosquitoes (overall mortality: ground, 43%; air, 34%) and limited control of the target Cx. tarsalis population. In 2006, aerial ULV applications with the same chemical were begun immediately following the first detection of virus in mid-April, resulting in an apparent reduction of Cx. tarsalis abundance and delay of WNV activity in the rural lower valley and a marked decline in transmission by Culex quinquefasciatus Say populations in the densely populated upper northwestern valley with no human cases reported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-489
Number of pages15
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Adulticide
  • Control
  • Culex quinquefasciatus
  • Culex tarsalis
  • West Nile virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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