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A systematic review of mosquito coils and passive emanators: defining recommendations for spatial repellency testing methodologies

Sheila B Ogoma12*, Sarah J Moore12 and Marta F Maia12

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental Thematic Group, Ifakara Health Institute, P.O. Box 53, Ifakara, Morogoro, United Republic of Tanzania

2 Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:287  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-287

Published: 7 December 2012


Mosquito coils, vaporizer mats and emanators confer protection against mosquito bites through the spatial action of emanated vapor or airborne pyrethroid particles. These products dominate the pest control market; therefore, it is vital to characterize mosquito responses elicited by the chemical actives and their potential for disease prevention. The aim of this review was to determine effects of mosquito coils and emanators on mosquito responses that reduce human-vector contact and to propose scientific consensus on terminologies and methodologies used for evaluation of product formats that could contain spatial chemical actives, including indoor residual spraying (IRS), long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) and insecticide treated materials (ITMs). PubMed, (National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine, NIH), MEDLINE, LILAC, Cochrane library, IBECS and Armed Forces Pest Management Board Literature Retrieval System search engines were used to identify studies of pyrethroid based coils and emanators with key-words “Mosquito coils” “Mosquito emanators” and “Spatial repellents”. It was concluded that there is need to improve statistical reporting of studies, and reach consensus in the methodologies and terminologies used through standardized testing guidelines. Despite differing evaluation methodologies, data showed that coils and emanators induce mortality, deterrence, repellency as well as reduce the ability of mosquitoes to feed on humans. Available data on efficacy outdoors, dose–response relationships and effective distance of coils and emanators is inadequate for developing a target product profile (TPP), which will be required for such chemicals before optimized implementation can occur for maximum benefits in disease control.

Spatial repellents; Pyrethroids; Coils; Passive emanators; Mosquito responses