Experimental hut to study the indoor behaviour and effects of insecticide-treated bednets on phlebotomine sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae)

BACKGROUND Behavioural effects of insecticides on endophagic phlebotomine sand fly vectors of Leishmania are poorly understood mainly because of the lack of an experimental hut (EH) in which to study them. OBJECTIVE To build an EH to evaluate the effects of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets (LLINs) on Lutzomyia longiflocosa. METHODS The study had two phases: (1) Laboratory experiments using tunnel tests to select the traps for the EH; and (2) EH construction and evaluation of the effects of deltamethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin LLINs on L. longiflocosa females inside the EH. FINDINGS Phase 1: The horizontal-slit trap was the best trap. This trap collected the highest percentage of sand flies, and prevented them from escaping. Therefore, this trap was used in the EH. Phase 2: The main effects of LLINs on L. longiflocosa in the EH were: landing inhibition, inhibition from entering the bednet, induced exophily, and high mortality (total and inside exit traps). CONCLUSIONS The EH was effective for evaluating the effects of LLINs on endophagic sand flies. Although both types of LLINs showed high efficacy, the lambda-cyhalothrin-treated LLIN performed better. This is the first report of induced exophily in sand flies.