The employment of vector control includes the control of mosquitoes, flies, rodents and other animals that may transmit pathogens.
So how do we exert control on all these pests and vectors? Some solutions are listed as below:
- We can reduce density of the vectors by measures directed at their breeding sites. Such measures include environmental management; drainage, filling, leveling of depressions and burrow pits, and the usage of insecticides; larvicides. Throughout the usage of the insecticide, we have to make sure that the chemical is directed at killing the vectors themselves, and not posing as a hazard to human by polluting the water source used for drinking, or kill non targeted organisms; fishes.
- We can also employ longevity reduction, which depends on the use of insecticides that kill the adult vectors, in emergencies, based on the urgent nature of the problem and risk of epidemics of vector-borne disease among susceptible populations. However, we must take note that the use of the insecticides must be effective and safe such that it targets the resting place of the vectors, such as within cracks in the walls, and inside surfaces of the house. Furthermore, the insecticide should not pose as a hazard to the personnel conducting the spray. It is therefore important for the specialized personnel to take responsibility of the design and implementation of this measure!
However, certain pesticides, for example, the persistent organic pesticides such as DDT, have been banned from use or subjected to restrictions in many countries. It is thus essential to determine the nature and suitability of pesticides to be used for vector control in a disaster struck country. Generally, officially registered pesticides should not pose an unacceptable risk upon proper usage.
Environmental measures for vector and pest control
To apply a definite solution to remove the roots to all problems, is first to understand the biology of the vector and pest organism, and what actually lead to its rapid growth that we are able to prevent it, and hence put a stop to its massive breeding.
Environmental management therefore requires a firm understanding in the role of human behavior in vector-borne transmission. Even if we are not the causes to the problems, it is required of community involvement to come up with a solution.
Most of the vectors carrying diseases are mosquitoes, midges and flies. However, not all kinds of water are suitable for the mosquitoes to breed in. Environmental measures can therefore range from land leveling, burrow pts filling and draining of flooded areas.
Human activities, especially those involving food production, food and water consumption, sleeping, defecation and laundering can promote the propagation of vectors and pests, or affect contacts between the parties. Thus, we should not locate defecation fields near cooking areas due to flies and possible surface rainfall run-off.
What can we do then? To keep mosquitoes away from the residence of human population we can locate farms near us. However, the animals must be clean and properly vaccinated to prevent them from being the reservoirs to vector- borne and other infectious diseases.
Drains must also be properly equipped with efficient hand pumps to facilitate the flow of water, otherwise the stagnant water may be a reservoir catering to the breeding of mosquitoes.
What can we do at home then? We should empty accumulated water from areas like flower pots, containers rooftops. And we should remove and clear away our rubbish regularly to prevent the build-up of flies and rodents. Therefore, we should be responsible for our own hygiene and cleanliness to keep away unwanted pests and rodents.