Control of phlebotomine sandflies


Dr Michele Maroli, Department of Parasitology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena, 299 Rome, Italy. E-mail:


Abstract. Phlebotomine sandflies (Diptera: Psychodidae) transmit many zoonotic diseases (arboviruses, bartonelloses and especially leishmaniases) of importance to human health in at least 80 countries. Measures used to control adult sandflies (Lutzomyia and Phlebotomus) include the use of insecticides (mostly pyrethroids) for residual spraying of dwellings and animal shelters, space-spraying, insecticide-treated nets, impregnated dog-collars and personal protection through application of repellents/insecticides to skin or fabrics. Because the breeding-sites of sandflies are generally unknown, control measures that act specifically against immatures are not feasible, although the effectiveness of a few biological and chemical agents has been demonstrated in laboratory evaluations. Reports of insecticide-resistance refer to only three sandfly species (P. papatasi, P. argentipes and S. shorttii) against DDT in one country (India), although there are reports of DDT-tolerance in several countries. Current knowledge of sandfly susceptibility to various insecticides is summarized. Constraints and advantages of different compounds, formulations and delivery methods for sandfly control under different environmental conditions are discussed.