2 Major Japanese Firms Collaborate to Develop New Mosquito Spray; Kao, Earth Hope to Fight Spread of Dengue Fever in Thailand

The Yomiuri Shimbun
ARS Mos Shooter

Kao Corp. and Earth Corp. will begin selling a mosquito spray in Thailand in July in a bid to fight the spread of dengue fever.

A viral infection spread by mosquitos, dengue fever can lead to death if there are complications, and the number of people infected is increasing worldwide. The new mosquito spray is an unprecedented collaboration between two major companies, which compete in many areas including detergents and bath salts in Japan.

The new product, ARS Mos Shooter, uses a surfactant developed by Kao. A mosquito is coated with hydrophobic substance similar to wax, but the newly developed surfactant can soak the mosquito and prevent it from flying after it is sprayed. Synthetic chemical agents are not used in ARS Mos Shooter, so it is expected to be effective against mosquitoes that are resistant to conventional insecticides.

There is no effective treatment for dengue fever. Severe symptoms include a high fever and a strong headache.

The number of people infected with dengue fever worldwide reached a record high last year. The disease has become a societal problem, especially in Southeast Asian countries.

Earth will be in charge of selling the new product in Thailand, as the company has the second largest share in the Thai market for insecticide products. Earth will also consider selling the product in Japan and countries neighboring Thailand. ARS Mos Shooter will cost around ¥550 to ¥600, which is about the price of a mid-range product in Thailand.

“The time it takes to cultivate a market for insecticides from scratch in Thailand should be saved,” said Kao President Yoshihiro Hasebe regarding the collaboration. “We worked with Earth to save as many lives as possible, as quickly as possible.”

Earth President Katsunori Kawabata said: “Infectious diseases are spreading around the world. There’s a lot we can do to help.”