Vegetation and the importance of insecticide-treated target siting for control of glossina fuscipes fuscipes

Esterhuizen, Johan ; Njiru, Basilio ; Vale, Glyn A. ; Lehane, Michael J. ; Torr, Stephen J. (2011-09-20)

CITATION: Esterhuizen, J. et al. 2011. Vegetation and the importance of insecticide-treated target siting for control of glossina fuscipes fuscipes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(9): e1336, doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001336.

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Control of tsetse flies using insecticide-treated targets is often hampered by vegetation re-growth and encroachment which obscures a target and renders it less effective. Potentially this is of particular concern for the newly developed small targets (0.25 high × 0.5 m wide) which show promise for cost-efficient control of Palpalis group tsetse flies. Consequently the performance of a small target was investigated for Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Kenya, when the target was obscured following the placement of vegetation to simulate various degrees of natural bush encroachment. Catches decreased significantly only when the target was obscured by more than 80%. Even if a small target is underneath a very low overhanging bush (0.5 m above ground), the numbers of G. f. fuscipes decreased by only about 30% compared to a target in the open. We show that the efficiency of the small targets, even in small (1 m diameter) clearings, is largely uncompromised by vegetation re-growth because G. f. fuscipes readily enter between and under vegetation. The essential characteristic is that there should be some openings between vegetation. This implies that for this important vector of HAT, and possibly other Palpalis group flies, a smaller initial clearance zone around targets can be made and longer interval between site maintenance visits is possible both of which will result in cost savings for large scale operations. We also investigated and discuss other site features e.g. large solid objects and position in relation to the water's edge in terms of the efficacy of the small targets.

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