Vector control focuses on utilizing preventative methods to control or eliminate vector populations. Common preventative measures are:Habitat ControlRemoving or reducing areas where vectors can easily breed can help limit population growth. For example, stagnant water removal, destruction of old tires and cans which serve as mosquito breeding environments and good management of used water can reduce areas of excessive vector incidence.Reducing ContactLimiting exposure to insects or animals that are known disease vectors can reduce infection risks significantly. For example, bed nets, window screens on homes, or protective clothing can help reduce the likelihood contact with vectors. To be effective this requires education and promotion of methods amongst the population to raise the awareness of vector threats.Chemical ControlInsecticides, larvicides, rodenticides, Lethal ovitraps and repellents can be used to control vectors. For example, larvicides can be used in mosquito breeding zones; insecticides can be applied to house walls or bed nets, and use of personal repellents can reduce incidence of insect bites and thus infection. The use of pesticides for vector control is promoted by theWorld Health Organization (WHO) and has proven to be highly effective.Biological ControlThe use of natural vector predators, such as bacterial toxins or botanical compounds, can help control vector populations. Using fish that eat mosquito larvae or reducing breeding rates by introducing sterilized male tsetse flies have been shown to control vector populations and reduce infection risks.
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