August is bang in the middle of rainy season in India and like all things in life, rains also bring both good and bad things. The economy and agriculture depend on a large extent on good rains but then being a tropical country rains bring its own share of trouble as well. One amongst them is pests and insects which proliferate in this season.

Common domestic insecticides are available in aerosol form and many of the cans come imprinted with letters like CIK, FIK, etc. Little did I knew the significance of these letters until one fine day I ran into an application and a customer who happily shared the details of the formulation, role of packaging and the end application of such sprays. The CIK’s and FIK’s of this world stand for Crawling Insect Killer and Flying Insect Killer respectively. And what determines whether a spray is going to be a CIK or FIK is the droplet size of the spray. And to understand the spray dynamics and droplet size the laser diffraction based system known as Spraytec from Malvern Panalytical is very useful.

Crawling Insect Killer

  • Surface spray
  • Designed to either spray the insect directly or use as a residual surface spray
  • Large droplet size and lower pressure to avoid droplet bounce back
  • Droplet size up to 100 microns

Flying Insect Killer

  • Space spray
  • Designed to generate a cloud of small droplets
  • These droplets must remain airborne to be collected by insects as they fly through the mist
  • Droplet size 20-40 microns

It is also important nowadays to quantify the fraction of droplets below 10 microns as part of environmental guidelines as this fraction is readily inhaled and absorbed by the lung alveoli.

So, next time you go shopping in the neighborhood store for some mosquito repellant or cockroach killer, pay attention to these labels. Who knows you might end up educating the store owner and the sales man!

Here, the feedback from our customers on Select Science “This is a very good instrument that can be used for Nasal Spray development”, and “very easy to use and requires little set up”.

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