Possible Malaria Weapon: Bug-Killing Paint

It could be a breakthrough against insect-borne diseases
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2012 4:25 PM CDT
A new insecticidal paint could help kill disease-carrying bugs like the mosquito and vinchuca.   (AP Photo/Hawaii State Dept. of Health)

(Newser) – A new paint that contains insecticide lasts longer than traditional bug-killing agents and is more effective in many circumstances, researchers say, making it a hopeful option for curbing insect-borne illnesses. It's already helped cut infestations of bugs like the vinchuca, which carries the often-fatal Chagas disease, in homes in the Chaco region of Bolivia, reports the New York Times. Researchers hope it can also be used to kill off mosquitoes carrying dengue fever or malaria, and may eventually make its way stateside, where it could help stem cockroach or ant infestations.

The high-tech paint, known as Inesfly, lasts longer than traditional insecticide and is less toxic than fumigation, thanks to its time-released active ingredients. Though it hasn't gotten the stamp of approval from the WHO or EPA yet, initial trials look hopeful. Inesfly applied to cement houses in Benin had a kill rate of 100% for three months, and about 90% after nine months. It won't work in every scenario, though. The paint has to be reapplied to remain effective, and can't be applied to thatched walls, which are common in areas stricken with malaria.

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