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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2009 Jul 7;3(7):e474. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0000474.

Improving the cost-effectiveness of artificial visual baits for controlling the tsetse fly Glossina fuscipes fuscipes.

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  • 1Vector Group, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


Tsetse flies, which transmit sleeping sickness to humans and nagana to cattle, are commonly controlled by stationary artificial baits consisting of traps or insecticide-treated screens known as targets. In Kenya the use of electrocuting sampling devices showed that the numbers of Glossina fuscipes fuscipes (Newstead) visiting a biconical trap were nearly double those visiting a black target of 100 cm x 100 cm. However, only 40% of the males and 21% of the females entered the trap, whereas 71% and 34%, respectively, alighted on the target. The greater number visiting the trap appeared to be due to its being largely blue, rather than being three-dimensional or raised above the ground. Through a series of variations of target design we show that a blue-and-black panel of cloth (0.06 m(2)) flanked by a panel (0.06 m(2)) of fine black netting, placed at ground level, would be about ten times more cost-effective than traps or large targets in control campaigns. This finding has important implications for controlling all subspecies of G. fuscipes, which are currently responsible for more than 90% of sleeping sickness cases.

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