Date of this Version
J. Econ. Entomol. 99(1): 182-193 (2006)
Commercially available air curtain units were used to create air barriers to prevent mosquitoes and house flies from entering a simulated aircraft doorway together with passengers. Two assemblies of simulated passenger bridge and aircraft were constructed, and airflow measurements were recorded to confirm airflow characteristics for several combinations of commercial units. Three mosquito species were selected for different host-seeking characteristics, and house flies were selected to represent a large, strong-flying insect. Batches of 20 or 200 insects of four species were released into the passenger bridge just before 25 persons passed through the assembly, then insects that entered the aircraft cabin were recovered. Results showed that horizontal plus vertical or vertical-mounted air curtain units with the airflow directed at a 45° angle into the passenger bridge excluded 95-99% of the mosquitoes and 95-100% of the house flies, respectively. Airflows were measured and estimated to be effective if the mean was >4 m/s in the critical area in the center of the converging airflows. The study validates the concept that air barriers can effectively prevent the passage of flying insects into an aircraft.