Use of semiochemicals for surveillance and control of hematophagous insects

Mweresa, Collins K.; Mukabana, W.R.; Loon, J.J.A. van; Dicke, M.; Takken, W.


Reliance on broad-spectrum insecticides and chemotherapeutic agents to control hematophagous insect vectors, and their related diseases is threatened by increasing insecticide and drug resistance, respectively. Thus, development of novel, alternative, complementary and effective technologies for surveillance and control of such insects is strongly encouraged. Semiochemicals are increasingly developed for monitoring and intervention of insect crop pests, but this has not been adequately addressed for hematophagous insects of medical and veterinary importance. This review provides an insight in the application of semiochemicals for control of hematophagous insects. Here, we provide specific information regarding the isolation and identification of semiochemical compounds, optimization approaches, detection, perception and discrimination by the insect olfactory system. Navigation of insects along wind-borne odor plumes is discussed and methods of odor application in field situations are reviewed. Finally, we discuss prospects and future challenges for the application of semiochemical-based tools with emphasis on mosquitoes. The acquired knowledge can guide development of more effective components of integrated vector management, safeguard against emerging resistance of insects to existing insecticides and reduce the burden of vector-borne diseases.