Effect of high-volume insecticide spraying on sand fly vectors in household gardens in Spain

Ortuño M., Muñoz-Hernández C., Risueño J., Jumakanova Z., Farinella A., Vaselek S., ...More

Zoonoses and Public Health, vol.70, no.6, pp.511-522, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 70 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/zph.13062
  • Journal Name: Zoonoses and Public Health
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.511-522
  • Keywords: diflubenzuron, insecticides, Phlebotomus, residential estates, sand fly control, alpha-cypermethrin
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


This study investigated the efficacy of high-volume spraying with the adulticide α-cypermethrin alone and in combination with the larvicide diflubenzuron on the density of sand flies in gardens of three detached households in periurban areas in southeast Spain. Treatments were applied four times between June and August 2016, and four nearby sites, two households and two non-urbanized sites, were untreated controls. The number of sand flies collected between May and October 2016 using sticky interception and light attraction traps, was 4446 specimens. Species identified morphologically included Sergentomyia minuta (n = 2101; 48%), Phlebotomus perniciosus (n = 1922; 44%), Phlebotomus papatasi (n = 173; 4%), Phlebotomus sergenti (n = 161; 4%) and Phlebotomus ariasi (n = 36; 1%). Sand flies were detected in both treated and untreated sites. The proportion of positive sticky traps and the median (range) density of sand flies in positive traps were 61% traps and 7 (2–172) sand flies/m2/day in untreated sites, and 43% traps and 4 (1–56) sand flies/m2/day in treated sites (p < 0.05). Similarly, for light traps, it was 96% traps and 30 (3–168) flies/trap/day, and 83% traps and 3 (1–12) sand flies/trap/day, respectively (p < 0.05). However, sand fly density followed a comparable seasonal pattern in untreated and treated sites and did not consistently decrease following insecticide applications. These results were confirmed with mixed negative binomial modelling of sand fly density adjusted for time since application, month, environmental setting and site. The limited efficacy of the treatments, added to their cost, the impact of insecticides on non-target organisms and human health, and the risk of development of insecticide resistance, should dissuade similar outdoor applications to control sand fly vector populations in residential areas.