Affiliations: * Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, U.S.A
** National Institute of Health, Department of Medical Sciences,
Ministry of Public Health, 88/7 Tiwanon Road, Nonthaburi 11000, Thailand
To gauge the extent of mosquito problems and their impact on local people in Thailand, a simple questionnaire was designed consisting of 6 questions with multiple choices to be answered in 4 different communities in Thailand in 1998 and 1999. Mosquito biting activity was noted often by respondents. They reported that mosquitoes bit both night and day, and that the insects were abundant both in the dry and the rainy seasons. In all 4 communities, a large proportion of the residents used bed nets, mosquito coils, and aerosol sprays for personal protection; vaporizing mats and repellents were used sparingly. The cost of such measures amounted to dollars 4 to dollars 25 per year per household. For most of the residents, this represented a substantial proportion of their income, and was proportionally greater than the average cost of organized mosquito control in developed countries. This suggests that instituting organized local vector control programs would be cheaper and more effective than the individual use of personal protectants that do not reduce mosquito numbers. An assessment of the available products stocked in neighborhood stores and supermarkets for personal protection was made. A variety of insecticidal aerosols, mosquito coils, liquid sprays, vaporizing mats, and vaporizing liquids was stocked. This ample supply of household insecticides lends support to the preferred methods of protection reported by the respondents. The active ingredients in most of the formulations were synthetic pyrethroids, although a few contained dichlorvos, propoxur, and a few other compounds. Mosquito coils, the most preferred products used by the poor, were evaluated for efficacy, and were found to provide a reduction of 72-96% in landing-biting rates in controlled experiments.