Jonathan O. Loreche, MD, FPAFP

Vector Control (Rodent & Insect Control) 
An essential part in controlling

communicable diseases  Rodents: Rats, Mice  Insects: Mosquitoes Flies Cockroaches

Phylum Arthropoda 
Class Insecta free-living insects (entomae) &    

Ectoparasitic wingless insects Class Arachnida Class Diplopoda (Millipedes) & Class Chilopoda (Centipedes) Class Crustacea Class Pentastomida

Class Insecta 
Ants, honey bees, cockroaches, bed bugs,     

houseflies, mosquitoes & sand flies. All these are free-living insects (entomae), members of the Class Insecta. Three (3) pairs of jointed legs & a pair of antennae (feelers). Ants & bedbugs are wingless. The rest are winged & flying insects. Rat fleas & Human lice are ectoparasitic wingless insects.

Class Arachnida 
Spiders (In the corners of most houses)  Scorpions (Under the stones in the field &    

sometimes under rafters in the house.) Four (4) pairs of jointed legs No wings, no antennae Body is divided into two (2) parts: cephalothorax (combined head & thorax), & abdomen & looks like the figure 8. Ticks & mites (found in shrubs & fields)

Class Diplopoda & Class Chilopoda 
Repulsive creatures whose sight evokes    

instant fright Class Diplopoda: Millipedes Class Chilopoda: Centipedes Several pairs of legs, figuratively 50 & 100 respectively. Body flattened & made up of many jointed segments.

Class Crustacea 

Crabs Lobsters Prawns Shrimps Are aquatic foods Posses 10 feet & a hard cuticle on the body. Cyclops also is a crustacean.

Phylum Arthropoda Characteristics 
Body: Bilaterally symmetrical made up of

segments, all of which may or may not be distinctly seen.  Skeletal System: External, chitinous (hard rings) thus do not increase in height after reaching adulthood. They develop by casting off the old exoskeleton & growing a new one in its place, a process called molting or ecdysis.  Body Cavity: Blood-filled space called hemocele.

Other characteristics of Arthropods 
Immature forms do not look like the adult (e.g.

caterpillar develops into a butterfly).  Born as eggs, develop through larval & pupal stages before finally becoming adults. (METAMORPHOSIS)  All arthropods are not harmful to man. Most of them are man s faithful friends & servants (e.g. the whole process of food production depends on the pollination carried on by the bees & butterflies.)

Medical Entomology 
Only a few of the arthropods are responsible for

causing, or more commonly, transmitting diseases.  These are the arthropods of medical importance.  The study of the biology & control of these arthropods is called Medical Entomology


Arthropods & Diseases 
Arthropods as Disease Agents  Arthropods as Vectors  Vectorial Mechanisms of Transmission

Conditions/ Diseases where Arthropods act as Disease Agents 

Minor lesions  Allergic reactions  Secondary infection  Entomophobia  Envenomation  Scabies  Myiasis

1. Minor Lesions 
Hemorrhage  Puncture  Laceration  Blisteration  Erythema  Result from the bite of some arthropods.

2. Allergic Reactions
Result from the bite of arthropods in the sensitive individual:  Urticaria from the bite of the a. Human flea (Pulicosis) b. Sand fly (Harara) & c. Bed bug (Amicosis)  Copra itch dermatitis caused by the Coconut mite (Tryoglyphus sp.)  The Dust mite, Dermatophagoides petronyssinus lives in bedding, capet, old clothes, stuffed furniture, commonly under hot & humid conditions. When a susceptible individual inhales its droppings, he suffers from ASTHMA. When his skin comes into contact with them, he acquires ECZEMA.

3. Secondary Infection 
The bite wounds of the Sand Flea (Tunga

penetrans) & Eye Mite (Demodex folliculorum) commonly get secondarily infected.  The secondary infection of the multiple bites in a heavily lice infested individual gives rise to a condition called Vagabond s Dermatitis.

4. Entomophobia 
Unusual fear reaction to the sight of a live

(even a photo of) arthropod much out of proportion to its potential viciousness.

5. Envenomation 
Toxic reaction following the bit or sting of, or contact with, poisonous arthropods.  Depending on the nature of the toxin, there may be localized necrotic reaction, constitutional symptoms or generalized features like hemolysis, glycosuria & neurotoxicity.  Example: Tick Paralysis > due to the neurotoxin in the arachnid s saliva. > seen in children about 5 days after being bitten by a hard tick (usually from dogs) in the head or neck. > the child suffers from weakness, fatigue, paresthesia & progressive ascending flaccid paralysis. > the prognosis is good. The child recovers in 12 24 hours after the removal of the tick.

6. Scabies 
Most common disease

caused by an arthropod.

7. Myiasis 

The condition resulting from the invasion of subcutaneous or submucous tissues with larvae (when called myaisis larvosa) or adults (myiasis imaginosa) of arthropods.  Example:

Development of housefly maggots & pupae in longneglected wounds.


Arthropods as Vectors 
A vector is an invertebrate that transmits

disease from the source or reservoir of infection to a susceptible person or animal.  Arthropods are important because they are the vectors of several diseases as the following list shows:

Arthropods as Vectors: Mosquitoes
1. Anopheles 2. Culex

Diseases Transmitted

Causative Agent
Plasmodium sp. W. Bancrofti JE virus RVF virus MVF virus WEE virus WNE virus

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Bancroftian filariasis Japanese encephalitis Rift valley fever Murray valley fever Western equine encephalitis West nile encephalitis

Arthropods as Vectors: Mosquitoes
3. Aedes

Diseases Transmitted
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Dengue fever Yellow fever Chikungunya fever Rift valley fever Ross River fever Venezuelan encephalitis Californian encephalitis Rural filariasis Sylvatic yellow fever

Causative Agent
DF viruses YF virus CF virus RV virus RRF virus VE virus CE virus Brugia malayi YF virus

4. Mansonia 5. Haemogoggus

Anopheles Mosquito

Aedes aegypti Mosquito

Small, dark mosquito with conspicuous white markings

Arthropods as Vectors: House Fly

Diseases Transmitted 1. Enteric fevers 2. Shigellosis 3. Salmonellosis 4. Cholera 5. Amoebiasis 6. Giardiasis 7. Balantidiasis 8. Yaws 9. Ascariasis 10. Trichuriasis 11. Poliomyelitis 12. Hepatitis A 13. Enteric viral diseases

Causative Agent
S. typhi/paratyphi Shigella sp. Salmonella sp. Vibrio cholerae E. histolytica G. lamblia B. coli T. pallidum A. lumbricoides T .trichura Polioviruses HA virus Various enteric viruses

Arthropods as Vectors: Ticks
Genus Diseases transmitted Causative agent CTF virus R. rickettsiae PE virus Borrelia burgdorferi Coxiella burnetii R. conorii RSSE virus 1. Dermacentro 1. Colorado tick fever 2. Rocky Mountain Spotted fever 3. Powassen encephalitis 4. Lyme disease 2. Ixodes

1. Q fever 2. Indian tick typhus 3. Russian spring
summer encephalitis

Arthropods as Vectors: Ticks
Genus 3. Hemaphysalis Diseases Transmitted Kyasanur Forest disease Boutonneus fever Causative agent KFD virus

4. Rhipicephalus

R. conorii

5. Ornithodorus

1. Relapsing fever 2. Erythema
chronicum migrans

Borrelia duttonii B. burgorferi

Arthropods as Vectors: Mites
Diseases Transmitted 1. Leptotrombiculum 1. Scrub typhus 2. Tularemia 2. Allodermanyssus Rickettsialpox Genus Causative Agent R. Tsutsugamushi F. tularensis R. akari

Arthropods as Vectors: Lice
Genus 1. Pediculus Diseases Transmitted Causative Agent R. prowazeki

1. Epidemic

2. Polyplax

typhus 2. Trench fever R. quintana 3. Epidemic B. recurrentis relapsing fever Murine typhus R. typhi

Arthropods as Vectors: Rat Flea
Genus Xenopsylla Diseases Transmitted Causative Agent

1. Plague Yersinia pestis 2. Murine typhus R. typhi F. tularensis 3. Tularemia

Arthropods as Vectors
Arthropod Tsetse Fly Genus Glossina Diseases Transmitted Sleeping Sickness Causative Agent Trypanoma sp.

Sand Fly


1. 2. 3. 4.

Leishmania sp. Leishmaniasis Sand fly fever SF virus Oroya fever Verruga peruans Bartonella bacilliformis Chaga¶s Disease Filariasis Trypanosoma cruzi Acanthocheilonema sp.

Reduviid Gnats

Triatoma Culicoides

Arthropods as Vectors
Arthropod Deer Fly Black Fly Cyclops Genus Chrysops Simulium Mesocyclops 1. Diseases Transmitted Causative Agent F. tularensis Loa loa O. volvolus D. medinensis Diphyllobothrium latum T. pertune

1. Tularemia 2. Loaiasis
Onchocerciasis Dracontiasis Fish Tape Worm Yaws

Sand Flea Tunga

Probable vectors of:  Intestinal infections and  Lymphocytic choriomeningitis caused by a specific virus.  Transmit the diseases mechanically.

Housefly & Sand Flea 
Transmit the diseases mechanically

Diseases in Specific Geographic Areas 
Mosquito & tick borne encephalitis &

haemorrhagic fevers are prevalent only in specific geographic areas.  Yellow fever is absent from India.

Animal Reservoirs in Insect-Borne Diseases Disease 1. Yellow Fever 2. Kyasanur Forest Disease 3. Japanese encephalitis 4. Murray Valley fever 5. Plague 6. Rift Valley fever Reservoir Monkeys Monkeys Pigs Wild birds Rodents Camel

Diseases transmitted by cyclops 
Acquired only when it is ingested with water

containing it is drunk

Diseases where transmission is blind-ended 
Human cases suffering from these conditions    

cannot transmit the disease to others. Japanese encephalitis Plague (except penumonic variety) Kaysanur Forest Disease Diseases transmitted by Ticks

Tsetse fly 
Not found in India


Vectors transmit diseases by two (2) broad mechanisms:  Mechanical > The arthropod carries the infective material passively. > Housefly is a mechanical vector.  Biological > The disease agent forges parasitic relationship with the arthropod.

Mechanical vs Biological Transmission
Manner of Transmission When transmission is possible Possibility of Transmission Accidental Immediately after the arthropod has picked up the agent.

Offshoot of parasitism Only after the expiry of the extrinsic incubation period.

Possible only for a few Possible for days, hours. sometimes until the death of the arthropod. Does not suffer harm in the course of transmission. Supplemental to other means of spread. Suffers harm, and sometimes dies. The sole means of spread.

Condition of the arthropod Arthropod transmission

Types of Transmission 
Non-cyclical Transmission

- if the organism spends its whole life cycle in either the human or the arthropod host  Cyclical Transmission - if the organism spends one half of its cycle in the arthropod & the other in the human host.

Non-Cyclical Transmission 
Three (3) types:  Propagative transmission  Transovarian transmission  Transovarian transstadial transmission

1. Propagative transmission 
the organism multiplies in the body of the

arthropod (without invading its germ plasm).  Examples: a. Bubonic plague ( Rat Flea ) ( Louse ) b. Trench fever

2. Transovarian transmission 
the pathogenic organism invades the germ-

plasm & gets incorporated into it with  the result that the progeny is automatically infected & hence capable of transmission.  Examples: a. Spread of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever by the Hard Tick.

3. Transovarian transstadial transmission 
The adult arthropod is not included in the disease     

process, for it does not bite man or animals. Larva bites & in the process, picks up the causative agent; But it itself does not spread the disease as it does not bite a second time. The organism is incorporated into the DNA of its ovum & is passed down to its progeny. The disease is spread by the bite of the larva of the second generation. Example: Scrub Typhus is spread by the Trombicula Mite this way.

Cyclical Transmission 
Two (2) types:  Cyclodevelopmental transmission  Cyclopropagative transmission

Cyclodevelopmental Transmission 
The organism does not multiply inside the

body of the vector. It merely undergoes maturation.  If the arthropod has picked up a pair of organisms, at the end of the extrinsic incubation period, there will still be two.  Example: Transmission of Filariasis by the Culex mosquito.

Cyclopropagative Transmission 
The organisms divides & subdivides inside the

vector s body, so that at the end of the extrinsic incubation period, thousands of the progeny are produced.  Example:  Spread of Malaria by the Anopheles Mosquito


Control of Arthropods 
Arthropods are controlled for the sake of the

diseases they transmit. Their control is part of the prevention of these diseases.  For efficient control of arthropods, a committee made up of an:
a. Administrator b. Entomologist c. Epidemiologist d. Health educator e. Sanitary Engineer

This committee is responsible for the planning, implementation, supervision & evaluation of the control operations.

General Principles of Arthropod Control 
All the individuals connected with arthropod

control are properly trained.  All materials to be employed as well as the methods of application of pesticides are pretested for their efficacy.  Supervision of the workers in the course of the operation is important, so is the conduct periodically of evaluation.

Approaches in Arthropod Control 
Ideal approach: To reduce the number of

arthropods to below the critical level - a level that is necessary for them to transmit the disease.  2nd option is to prevent arthropods from coming into contact with man or his water, food, etc.  3rd approach is available in emergencies: evacuating people from the town infested with arthropods or in the grip of an insect-borne outbreak.

Methods of Arthropod Control 
Suppression of Arthropods  Destruction of Arthropods  Exclusion of, & Personal Protection against,


Suppression of Arthropods 
Suppression of arthropod breeding is called

species sanitation or habitat management.  The most eco-friendly method of control.  Involves the least disturbance of balance between man & the environment.  Arthropods are suppressed by preventing their breeding.

2 ways of preventing arthropods from breeding 
Denying them sites for breeding.  Imposing a mechanical barrier between them &

their breeding site. Example: Placement on water surface of polystyrene beads so as to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs.

Destruction of Arthropods 
Successful species sanitation is not feasible where:

a. The arthropods have extensive breeding sites b. Where the method concerned is not socially acceptable (e.g. Shaving of head for preventing the breeding of the head louse)  In such cases, the arthropods are killed either: 1) In their larval stage (the larvicidal operation), or 2) As adults (adulticidal or imagicidal operation).

Methods of destroying arthropods 
Manual destruction  Trapping followed by killing  Chemical control  Biological control  Genetic control

1. Manual destruction 
Mosquitoes, flies & lice can be killed with bare    

hands, or with a roll of newspaoper, or a swatter. Houseflies are best killed with a swatter. Lice are combed out with a fine comb & killed between the nails of the 2 thumbs. Ticks are first removed with a forceps & then killed. The contribution of manual killing to the overall reduction of arthropod population is small.

2. Trapping followed by killing 
A large number of arthropods can be caught with traps & catchers.  They are first lured into the trap with the help of the following: a. Bait in the form of the favorite food of the concerned arthropod. b. Physical attractants like visible light, ultraviolet rays, colored light, ultrasound, electromagnetic waves, etc. c. Sex attractants (Pheromones)  The trapped arthropods are then drowned or killed with the aid of a high voltage electric grid.  Trapping is the control method of choice where insecticides are prohibited, such as in food & catering establishments.

3. Chemical Control 
An effective method of control  Use of inorganic or organic, natural or synthetic

compounds that are capable of killing the arthropods.  Insecticides or pesticides  Can be used against larvae (larvicides) or against the adults (adulticides).  Insecticidal control has 3 disadvantages: 1) Costly 2) Hazardous to man & domestic animals 3) Contributes to environmental contamination.

Different Kinds of Insecticides 
Petrochemical oils  Monolayers  Paris green  Pyrethrum &  Organochlorine

pyrethroids  Hydrogen cyanide  Methyl bromide

compounds  Organophosphates  Carbamates  Insect growth regulators

4. Biological Control 
The larvae & pupae of arthropods can be

killed by exposing them to their natural predators, or infecting them with an organism lethal to them.  Also called Biocidal control.

Examples of Biological Control 
Cultivation of Gambusia affinis fish in wells, cisterns,

& ornamental ponds for the destruction of mosquito larvae.  For controlling Culex larvae in polluted waters, Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 & B. sphericus are applied as a liquid or as a powder mixed with lecithin.The toxin released by them destroys their intestines & produces death.  The fungus Lagenidium giganteum is used for killing mosquito larvae in clean water.  The nematodes Ramanomermisculcirorax ana & R. iyengari are employed for the destruction of cyclops.

Genetic Control 
Useful to eliminate arthropods from isolated

locations.  There are three approaches to genetic control: 1) Sterile male technique 2) Hybrid male technique 3) Artificial selection 2 approaches are available.

1. Sterile Male Technique 
The male insects are completely or partially

sterilized by exposing them to radiation or mixing chemosterilant with their foods.  They are then released in the community in sufficient numbers.  They mate with the natural female insects thereby denying the natural males from doing so.  Having mated with barren males, female mosquitoes do not lay eggs.

2. Hybrid Male Technique 
The male insects are so treated as to produce

in their germ plasm cytoplasmic incompatibilities or chromosomal translocations.  Their fertility, following treatment, may be intact or partially lost.  Mating with natural females results in the production of eggs that do not develop.

3. Artificial Selection 
1st approach:  Natural arthropods are a heterogenous group of

different strains. Some strains are efficient transmitters of disease. Others are nontransmitters, these are selected & bred artificially. Then they are released into the community. They multiply at a faster rate than the other strains. In time, most of the progeny consists of descendants of the selected & artificially bred strain. As they are nontransmitters of infection, transmission of the disease does not take place.

3. Artificial Selection 
2nd approach:  Strains of mosquitoes that are highly

susceptible to insecticides are selected, bred & released.  In due course, their progeny replace the descendants of other (those that are resistant to insecticide) strains.  The mosquitoes will then be killed en masse on insecticidal application.

Exclusion of, and Personal Protection against, Arthropods 
Screening  Bed Nets  Protective Clothing  Repellents  Synthetic-pyrethroid impregnated coils &

neem oil mixed kerosene

1. Screening 
Plastic or wire mesh screens are fixed to the

windows, ventilators & other openings.  They are properly maintained.  All entrances to the dwelling are provided with twin spring doors such that when one is open, the other remains closed thus denying entry to the outside arthropods.  All cut vegetables, fruits, foods, sweet meats, etc., are placed inside fly-proof cupboards or kept covered with a polythene sheet so as to be out of bounds for insects.

2. Bed Nets 
Mosquito nets or  Sand fly nets  Used over beds while sleeping.

3. Protective Clothing 
Aprons, gloves, gumboots, etc.  Worn to avoid being bitten by arthropods  While working in the field, forests, marshy

lands, areas covered with dense vegetation, or other places known to be infested with them.

4. Repellents 
Chemicals that drive arthropods away.  Smeared or applied to the skin of exposed

parts of the body.  Bed nets, bed sheets & apparel can be impregnated with them & used.  They are also added to soap so that after a bath with it, a coating of repellent is left behind on the body.

4. Repellents (cont d) 
DEET (Diethyltoluamide) is the most widely

used repellent.  For clothing, benzyl benzoate & dibutyl phthalate are preferable because they can withstand bleaching with water. Other repellents:  Butyl ethyl propanediol, Dimethyl carbate  Dimethyl phthalate, Ethyl hexanediol  Butopyronoxyl, 2 chlorodiethylbenzamide  Neem oil (the extract of Azadirachta indica)

5. Synthetic-pyrethroid impregnated coils & neem oil mixed kerosene 
The synthetic pyrethroids, allethrin, deltamethrin &    

peremethrin, or neem oil, when used with coil or mat act as repellent rather than as insecticides. The coil is burnt whereupon a cloud of carbon particles arises & carries the chemical with it. The mat is heated with 5 6 watts electrical heater whereupon the chemical gets vaporized & mixes with the air of the room. Alternatively, a lamp is filled with kerosene containing 2 3 % of neem oil & lighted. Neem oil vaporizes and drives arthropods away.

Post lecture Evaluation 10 points Mechanical vs Biological Transmission
Manner of Transmission When transmission is possible Possibility of Transmission Condition of the arthropod Arthropod transmission