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Global warming may influence effect of pesticides

Farmers spray pesticide over their rice field in Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, November 13, 2015.     REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom
Farmers spray pesticide over their rice field in Nakhonsawan province, north of Bangkok, Thailand, November 13, 2015. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom

Washington D.C., Dec. 1 : A new study has revealed that global warming might affect the effect of pesticide.

Researchers from Montana State University have shown that permethrin becomes less effective at killing the yellowfever mosquito as temperatures increase.

These mosquitoes, which are found in the tropics and the subtropics, can transmit viruses that lead to dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and other diseases.

Researcher Shavonn Whiten said that many of the areas where these insecticides were employed had varying drastic temperature changes.

In the study, researchers exposed adult mosquitoes to varying concentrations of permethrin at a range of temperatures. They found an inverse relationship between death and temperature from 16 degrees to 30 degrees, which showed the highest negative correlation.

From 30 degrees to 32 degrees, there was, however, a positive correlation between mortality and temperature. And from 32 degrees to 34 degrees, the negative correlation resumed.

Some possible reasons for this can be: Lower temperatures may make the mosquito neurons more sensitive to permethrin, which is a neurotoxin.

The permethrin may persist longer and remain active at lower temperatures or Lower temperatures may enhance the ability of the insecticide to bind to its target site.

Researcher Robert Peterson said that people involved in mosquito-control efforts should take temperature into account when choosing a pest-control product.

The study is published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. (ANI)