Exclusion of phlebotomine sand flies from inhabited areas by means of vertical mesh barriers

R. Faiman, O. Kirstein, M. Freund, H. Guetta, A. Warburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Vector control constitutes an important component of integrated disease control campaigns. Source reduction is not an option for phlebotomine sand fly vectors of leishmaniasis, because larval breeding sites remain either unknown or inaccessible. Thus, all control efforts are directed against the adult sand flies, mostly attempting to limit their contact with humans. We describe experiments using an insecticide-treated vertical barrier to prevent sand flies from reaching inhabited areas of an agricultural settlement. A 400 meter long section of the peripheral fence of Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu, Jordan Valley, Israel was draped with a deltamethrin-impregnated net that is impenetrable to sand flies (polyester net, 450 holes/inch2). Sand flies were captured before and after construction of the barrier using CO2-baited CDC traps. Sand fly numbers, as monitored around three houses internal to the barrier, exhibited an 84.9% decrease once the barrier was erected (P=0.003). Concurrently, the neighboring control group of three houses, not protected by the barrier, exhibited a 15.9% increase in sand fly numbers (P=0.974). These results corroborate previous findings of field tests conducted on a smaller scale in an arid suburban setting. Campaigns for reducing the burden of sand fly bites and curtailing the transmission of leishmaniasis, should consider integrating vertical fine-mesh nets with other sand fly control measures.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)512-518
Number of pages7
JournalTransactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant from the Deployed War-Fighter Protection (DWFP) Research Program, funded by the US Department of Defense through the Armed Forces Pest Management Board (AFPMB). Additional funding was provided by The Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 135/08) and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): ‘Emergence of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis due to Leishmania tropica and L. major in The Palestinian Authority and Israel’ (grant No. SCHO 448/8-1).


  • Insecticide-impregnated nets
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Phlebotomine sand flies
  • Vertical barrier


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