Eave screening and push-pull tactics to reduce house entry by vectors of malaria
Long-lasting insecticidal nets and indoor residual spraying have contributed to a decline in malaria over the last decade, but progress is threatened by the development of physiological and behavioral resistance of mosquitoes against insecticides. Acknowledging the need for alternative vector control tools, we quantified the effects of eave screening in combination with a push-pull system based on the simultaneous use of a repellent (push) and attractant-baited traps (pull). Field experiments in western Kenya showed that eave screening, whether used in combination with an attractant-baited trap or not, was highly effective in reducing house entry by malaria mosquitoes. The magnitude of the effect varied for different mosquito species and between two experiments, but the reduction in house entry was always considerable (between 61% and 99%). The use of outdoor, attractant-baited traps alone did not have a significant impact on mosquito house entry but the high number of mosquitoes trapped outdoors indicates that attractant-baited traps could be used for removal trapping, which would enhance outdoor as well as indoor protection against mosquito bites. As eave screening was effective by itself, addition of a repellent was of limited value. Nevertheless, repellents may play a role in reducing outdoor malaria transmission in the peridomestic area.