Insecticidal Paint Shows Promise in Curbing Disease – NYTimes.comPosted: July 24, 2012
On that August day, her home was slathered with a high-tech paint that kills disease-carrying pests like the kissing bug. Over the past decade, approximately 7,000 houses in the Chaco region have been covered with the paint, known as Inesfly. By most estimates, the vinchuca vanish within a week, and no houses have suffered repeat infestations, although some, like Ms. Saavedra’s, have been repainted as a precaution. The bug-killing paint has reduced infestation rates in her area from as high as 90 percent to nearly zero.
“It’s astounding,” said Dr. João Carlos Pinto Dias, a leading expert in Chagas disease at the Oswaldo Cruz Institute in Brazil. His studies found Inesfly effective for two years in real-life conditions. Standard insecticide application lasts only six months under the most ideal conditions and can dissipate within a week in harsh environments like the Chaco.
Developed by a small Spanish company called Inesba, the paint has not yet been fully evaluated by the World Health Organization; until it is, public health officials in many countries will not incorporate it into disease-control programs. But experimental efforts against a range of pests in South America, Mexico and Africa have produced promising results.