A nasty stench of smoke and burning eyes are associated with fogging for controlling mosquito-breeding outside our homes. German company Bayer’s new product, a water-based insecticide, eliminates the use of oil-based diluents such as diesel and helps reduce pollution caused by fogging.
The company, after years of research, has launched a new chemical Aqua K-Othrine, which can be mixed with water instead of diesel and used for fogging. This is the first new launch by Bayer Environmental Science in the Indian vector control market in 20 years.
“While fogging, a small amount of chemical is mixed with almost an 80 per cent of diesel component and then sprayed in the atmosphere. The pollution is because of the diesel that gets released in huge quantities in the atmosphere,” Arun Kumar, Head of South Asia, Bayer Environmental Science, told Businessline.
Aqua K-Othrine can be used in thermal fogging machines, ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayers and cold fogger machines against flying insect pests. “Aqua K-Othrine can be applied after diluting with water without losing efficacy. It being water-based, this insecticide eliminates the use of oil-based diluents such as diesel and helps reduce environmental impact,” Kumar further said.
After undergoing phase three trials, which involve testing it for mortality of mosquitoes, effectiveness, dosage, frequency of spraying and after being compared with standard chemicals which use diesel as the base, the chemical has received sanction from the Ministry of Agriculture for use in India. “It has to now undergo processes for sanction from the National Vector Borne Control Disease Programme (NVBCDP) of Ministry of Health before the government considers adding it to it's kitty,” Kumar said.
In any given fogging exercise, the cost of chemical is merely 10-15 per cent of the total cost, majority of which is commanded by diesel and the rest for machinery and manpower. The cost of the newly launched chemical is ₹4,850 per litre and it suffices a coverage of 20-40 hectares while spraying.
“While we await sanctions from the government for use in the public sector and governments — be it Centre, State or local remain our biggest potential buyers,private pest control companies that undertake contracts for co-operative housing societies or commercial spaces have also shown interest in the product,” said Kumar.
This article was originally published on The Hindu Business Line.