Zap and Revive: Microwaving Insecticides for Malaria Control!

By: | August 8th, 2023

Image by Pixabay

Insecticide resistance poses a significant problem in the battle against malaria. In Africa, where malaria is most prevalent, nearly no area remains fully susceptible to insecticides.

As a result, mosquitoes have developed increased abilities to survive exposure to these chemicals. Making it increasingly challenging to control their populations and prevent the transmission of malaria.

Researchers from New York University have discovered the most effective way to restore an insecticide’s mosquito-killing power—just microwave it.

Zap bugs, not food!  Just don’t use the same microwave for insecticides that you use for leftovers!

Deltamethrin is an insecticide often used in bed nets to help protect people from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. In malaria-prone regions, bed nets are often treated with insecticides that kill mosquitoes on contact. However, certain mosquitoes have developed resistance to it, reducing the nets’ efficacy and raising disease risks. New York University researchers discovered that microwaving Deltamethrin can revive its mosquito-killing potency.

Researchers discovered that microwaving the insecticide for only 30 seconds can restore its mosquito-killing power by up to 90%.

This breakthrough effectively renews Deltamethrin’s ability to kill mosquitoes that have developed resistance to the chemical, potentially extending the effectiveness and lifespan of Deltamethrin-treated mosquito nets and other products.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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