Field Audit of Vector Control Program

Insect pests, especially mosquitoes and other vectors, continue to inflict a serious toll on the economy of many countries. Control of insect populations, be those agricultural or ornamental pests or arthropods of zoonotic or human diseases is a very visible undertaking that continues to be under very strict scrutiny from government agencies and the general public. Moreover, many agencies, organizations and institutions that had previously controlled or eradicated many of these arthropods have witnessed a resurgence in their activities and concomitant increase in the impact on their bottom line resulting from the combined effect of increasing insecticide resistance issues, stricter regulations, reductions in operational budgets and criticism from the general public. This situation may have started when the World Health Organization declared the mosquito as “Public Enemy Number One”[1] and asked member States to increase arthropod control operations while reducing their reliance of insecticides. Today, though insecticides in public health and agriculture should be treated as drugs for the environment, WHO's paradoxical request has resulted in an alarming increase in pest and arthropod populations and concomitant loss of lives and revenues. Ironically, this resurgence has been sufficiently visible to force many organizations to allocate significant portions of their limited resources to the prevention and treatment of insect-related damage and the establishment of arthropod population suppression operations.


Though difficult to assess, the resurgence of vector activity can be attributed to one or more of a long list of factors, including the introduction of exotic species, insecticide resistance, arthropod control program management failures due to budgetary or technical capacity shortfalls, and a number of others. Regardless of the reasons, it is evident that the situation will continue to deteriorate if no significant action is undertaken. To that effect, arthropod control programs are now being established or refurbished in areas where none operated before and/or evaluated in areas where one exists. Unfortunately, the criteria for the development, implementation, and subsequent evaluation of arthropod management programs are often based on technology and procedures often unfamiliar, inappropriate or unavailable to some managers or have been designed for very different environmental conditions. In addition, many of them are often activated without clear and distinct guidelines or are often not based on sound arthropod or disease surveillance.

To be effective, these arthropod population suppression programs must include periodic evaluations of their operational and activity plans, goals and objectives, technical training and capacity building programs for their staff, data recording and reporting procedures, maintenance and calibration of application equipment and operators, use mass media resources, and measures to maximize community engagement. These evaluations help measure their effectiveness and efficiency and ensure the timely and judicious application of appropriate interventions that follow proper application techniques and procedures in order to maximize their effectiveness and overall efficiency.

Unfortunately, though strict, standardized guidelines for the use of insecticides are delineated in the insecticide labels, detailed guidelines for arthropod control operations, are not readily available.

This Operational Review of Vector Control Operations covers some of the essential elements required for a comprehensive arthropod control program, including:

  1. Program Management and Administration

  2. Facilities and Equipment

  3. Vector Surveillance and Detection

  4. Vector Control Operations

  5. Information, Education and Communication (IEC)

  6. Interagency Coordination and Planning

  7. Research

  8. Emergency Preparedness

  9. Technical Capacity Building & Continuing Education.

Each section is provided with key elements designed to cover the basic areas and a scoring system in order to provide program managers with a detailed and comprehensive look at their programs to help identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and areas requiring attention. It also provides a framework with which managers can recognize risk factors and identify potential topics that could be incorporated in an advanced, technical training program for their staff so that maximum utilization of available resources is achieved. Furthermore, it provides the reviewer a framework from which to make appropriate recommendations and observations.

Contact us for details and to schedule an evaluation of your program.

© 2020 Mosquito Den LLC

HC 1 Box 13526, Río Grande, PR 00745

1.787.355.7397; 1.787.403.1501; 1.904.425.1689;

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