Evaluation of habitat management strategies for the reduction of malaria vectors in northern Belize

John P. Grieco*, Roy C. Vogtsberger, Nicole L. Achee, Errol Vanzie, Richard G. Andre, Donald R. Roberts, Eliska Rejmankova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Mowing and burning of emergent vegetation were evaluated as potential management strategies for the control of the malaria vector, Anopheles vestitipennis, in northern Belize, Central America. The primary aim was reduction of tall dense macrophytes (dominated by Typha domingensis) as preferred larval habitat for An. vestitipennis. Nine experimental plots were established in a Typha marsh in Orange Walk District, Belize. Three plots were burned, three were treated by sub-aquatic mowing, and three were unaltered controls. After treatment, Typha height was most dramatically affected by the mow treatment. Plant heights at 21 and 95 days post-treatment reflected an 89% and 48% decrease, respectively, compared to pre-treatment conditions. The Typha height in the burn plots was not as severely affected. Heights at 21 days post-treatment were 39% lower than those of pre-treatment vegetation, with a return to near pre-test heights by 95 days post-treatment. Both treatments resulted in a significant reduction in the number of An. vestitipennis larvae collected as compared to control plots. Conversely, the treatments resulted in increased larval densities of several other vector and pest mosquito species. Larval population densities of An. albimanus, Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus, and Culex coronator were significantly higher in burn plots. In mow plots, there were significant increases in An. albimanus and Oc. taeniorhynchus larval populations. Non-target invertebrate species affected by the treatments were adult Tropisternus collaris, larval Corythrella, and adult Paraplea puella.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Vector Ecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Anopheles
  • Belize
  • Habitat
  • Malaria
  • Management
  • Vectors


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