Efficacy of Aquatain, a Monomolecular Film, for the Control of Malaria Vectors in Rice Paddies

S.T. Bukhari, W. Takken, A.K. Githeko, C.J.M. Koenraadt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Background Rice paddies harbour a large variety of organisms including larvae of malaria mosquitoes. These paddies are challenging for mosquito control because their large size, slurry and vegetation make it difficult to effectively apply a control agent. Aquatain, a monomolecular surface film, can be considered a suitable mosquito control agent for such breeding habitats due to its physical properties. The properties allow Aquatain to self-spread over a water surface and affect multiple stages of the mosquito life cycle. Methodology/Principal Findings A trial based on a pre-test/post-test control group design evaluated the potential of Aquatain as a mosquito control agent at Ahero rice irrigation scheme in Kenya. After Aquatain application at a dose of 2 ml/m2 on rice paddies, early stage anopheline larvae were reduced by 36%, and late stage anopheline larvae by 16%. However, even at a lower dose of 1 ml/m2 there was a 93.2% reduction in emergence of anopheline adults and 69.5% reduction in emergence of culicine adults. No pupation was observed in treated buckets that were part of a field bio-assay carried out parallel to the trial. Aquatain application saved nearly 1.7 L of water in six days from a water surface of 0.2 m2 under field conditions. Aquatain had no negative effect on rice plants as well as on a variety of non-target organisms, except backswimmers. Conclusions/Significance We demonstrated that Aquatain is an effective agent for the control of anopheline and culicine mosquitoes in irrigated rice paddies. The agent reduced densities of aquatic larval stages and, more importantly, strongly impacted the emergence of adult mosquitoes. Aquatain also reduced water loss due to evaporation. No negative impacts were found on either abundance of non-target organisms, or growth and development of rice plants. Aquatain, therefore, appears a suitable mosquito control tool for use in rice agro-ecosystems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere21713
Number of pages13
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • organic-surface-films
  • anopheles-arabiensis patton
  • dar-es-salaam
  • arosurf msf
  • mosquito-control
  • culex-quinquefasciatus
  • western kenya
  • bacillus-sphaericus
  • lecithin monolayers
  • coquillettidia-perturbans


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