Targeting mosquito swarms to control outdoor...

In the News

Muhas don is new IHI board member

Prof. Kaaya. Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) Board of Governors (BOG) has appointed Prof. Sylvia Kaaya member of the IHI Board of Trustees (BOT) effective Wednesday January 10, 2018. The appointment …

Marcel steps down from IHI boards

Prof. Marcel Tanner has stepped down as Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and Board of Governors (BOG) effective Wednesday January 10, 2018. The Former …

Recent Projects

Development of a new tool for malaria mosquito surveillance to improve vector control

Malaria transmission is influenced not only by vector abundance, but as well by demographic traits such as vector species and age structure, as these influence the intensity by which the …

Demonstrating complete disruption of residual malaria transmission by eliminating Anopheles funestus mosquitoes from rural Tanzanian villages

In rural south-eastern Tanzania, where malaria prevalence has reduced by >60% since 2000, low-to-moderate transmission still persists despite very high coverage with long-lasting insecticidal bednets. Like in most residual transmission …

Targeting swarms and mosquito nocturnal behaviours to control outdoor malaria transmission.

Malaria mosquitoes mate in swarms. Males gather over specific and conspicuous landmarks known as swarm markers to attract females, usually at dusk, and repeatedly at the same place over many years. Targeting swarms to deplete mosquito populations  offers  an  unrivalled opportunity to drastically reduce mosquito-borne pathogen transmission. While this approach has proven effective against An. coluzzii on a limited scale in Burkina Faso, it needs to be validated for other vector species in other areas.

The approach of targeting swarms with space-praying enables clear identification of the target (in this case swarms or clusters of swarms) for localized control. Besides, mosquito swarms are known to occur perpetually in the same locations at approximately the same time each day, making them easier to target once initially located.

ihi-team_swarm-huntingAlso, while mixed swarms can occur, they are mostly consistent of same species, thus we can use this approach to very specifically target a specific vector. The concentrations of males, predictability and accessibility of the swarming sites and the fact that swarms can be artificially manipulated make them vulnerable and an easy control target. Moreover the tight clustering of the target provides an opportunity for controlled and reduced dose space spray application over the traditional area wide or broadcast space spray.

The main objective of this project is to demonstrate that swarms of adult malaria vectors can be readily identified and targeted with effective area wide space spraying, to crash the local vector populations and significantly lower vectorial capacities, thereby complementing and accelerating efforts towards malaria elimination in the targeted areas. This project is conducted in Tanzania and Burkina Faso.


Lead Scientists:

Fredros Okumu

Emmanuel Kaindoa


Sumitomo, Japan
Institute de Reserche en Sciences de la Sante (IRSS)
Keele University, Centre for Applied Entomology and Parasitology
Bonds Consulting Group, USA
Manatee County Mosquito Control District



Projects Location

© Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), 2016