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Epidemic Control Toolkit
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36. Vector control

Last update: 2022-09-26


  • Many diseases are spread by vectors. 
  • Vectors are insects or animals that spread an infectious disease through a bite, or contact with their urine, faeces, blood, etc.
  • Vectors include mosquitoes, flies, ticks, rodents, cockroaches and fleas. 
  • Diseases spread by vectors include malaria, dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, Rift Valley fever and plague.

How you can help

  • It is very important to remember that spraying chemicals to get rid of vectors can be dangerous, especially if you do not have the proper equipment or materials and do not know how to spray safely.
  • Always ask professionals to spray against vectors. (Only help if you are trained or guided by a well-trained person.) 
  • Volunteers can nevertheless help in many other ways, including by promoting recommended hygiene and sanitation practices.
  • Talk to people in your community about storing food and water properly, keeping shelters and houses clean, cleaning the environment, using bed nets at night, and wearing clothing (for example, with long sleeves) that protects against vectors such as mosquitoes. 
  • See the table on the other side of this card for more information on how volunteers can help.

IFRC_vector control

Keep the community clean and always ask professionals to spray against vectors.

Main mosquito-borne diseases and control methods

Disease Vector Vector biting time Vector/ reservoir breeding site Primary community prevention method Secondary community prevention method
Malaria Anopheles mosquito Most species bite at night (with notable exceptions) Unpolluted water Long-lasting insecticide-treated nets; indoor residual spraying; intermittent preventive treatment Insecticide-treated materials; space spraying; larviciding
Dengue Aedes mosquito Morning, afternoon Containers, small pools, unpolluted water Environmental management; vaccination Larviciding
Chikungunya Aedes mosquito Morning, afternoon Containers, small pools Environmental management Larviciding
Yellow fever Aedes mosquito Morning, afternoon Containers, small pools Vaccination Environmental management, larviciding
Zika Aedes mosquito Morning, afternoon Containers, small pools, unpolluted water Environmental management Larviciding

Other vectors

Plague bacteria are most often transmitted by the bite of an infected rodent or flea. To prevent contamination, people should: store food and water (including animal food) in rodent-proof covered containers; screen or close holes in walls and roofs; remove rubbish and environmental debris from around dwellings; sleep on a raised platform (not on the floor); and use repellents. See Action tool Waste disposal and clean-up campaigns and Community message tool Keeping rodents out.

رسوم توضيحية لنواقل: بعوضة، برغوث، ذبابة، جرذ