Heating deltamethrin may help it kill pesticide-resistant mosquitoes
A team of scientists increased the potency of commercial deltamethrin dust spray simply by melting a vial of it — either by heating it to 150° C in an oil bath for five minutes or by popping it in a 700-watt microwave for the same amount of time. While the microscopic deltamethrin crystals in the original spray have a haphazard structure, the melted deltamethrin crystals solidified into starburst shapes when they cooled to room temperature. Chemical bonds between deltamethrin molecules in the starburst-shaped crystals are not as strong as those in the original microcrystal structure. “The molecules are intrinsically less happy, or settled, in the arrangement,” said one of the investigators. So, when a mosquito lands on a dusting of starburst-shaped crystals, it should be easier for deltamethrin molecules to be absorbed into the insect’s body via its feet.
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