The Mosquito Control Market

The Mosquito Control Market

The global commercial mosquito control market is estimated at over $ 8 Billion (USD) and is concentrated mainly in the USA, Brazil and in Europe. Mosquito control is targeted at the both the developmental (larval) stage – larvicides and at the adult stage – adulticides.



Adult mosquito control is the most familiar solution and reflects almost 40% of the total mosquito control market. It is based on either ground or aerial spraying of residual chemical insecticides. These products can be applied as ultra low volume (ULV) sprays, as residual surface treatments or are impregnated into bed nets - Insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) that are widely used in many mosquito disease ridden countries around the world. ULV sprayers dispense very fine droplets carrying relatively low pesticide volumes that remain airborne for extended periods of time and kill the adult mosquitoes that come into contact with them. Pyrethroid insecticides have been widely applied via this system

Personal protection in the form of insecticide treated bed nets  (ITNs) has proven to be extremely effective in reducing death from Malaria and Dengue in endemic regions in Africa and S.E. Asia and are the backbone in the fight to rid the world of these diseases.

Most nets used to date are or have been treated with pyrethroid insecticides for many years and over this time many mosquito populations have developed resistance to this class of insecticides rendering them and the ITNs ineffective. This has caused a significant increase in Malaria cases in Africa and elsewhere.


These are products targeted at the immature stages of the mosquitoes (larvae & pupae), which develop in standing water. Larviciding has proven to be an ecologically safe method and is based on a number of classes of products:

Conventional broad-spectrum chemical insecticides that kill the developing mosquito stages  - Organophsphates  (Temephos); Surface oils and films; Bacillus thuringiensis based insecticdes (Bti).

Organophosphate use has dropped drastically due to the development of resistance in wild mosquito populations. The use of surface oils and films is a non-selective method that is targeted at pest species that develop in water but breath air at the water surface. Btis are the most widely used larval targeting product class as they have proven to be extremely effective, highly selective and safe to the environment.

Additional solutions are based on the use of chemical repellents that deter the adult female mosquito from entering rooms and home in which the repellents are applied. These are either burnt as coils or applied to the skin (DEET based) with an estimated one third of the US population using Deet to protect them from mosquito borne disease. 

Future Solutions


Wolbachia are bacteria that live within insect cells and are passed from one generation to the next through the insect's eggs. Wolbachia is present in up to 60% of all the different species of insects around us including some mosquitoes that bite people. The bacteria reduces the ability of insects to become infected with viruses, including the dengue virus. If mosquitoes cannot become infected with dengue, they cannot transmit the virus between people.


The sterile insect technique is a method of biological insect control, whereby overwhelming numbers of sterile male mosquitoes are released into the wild. The sterile males compete with wild males to mate with the females. Females that mate with a sterile male produce no offspring, thus reducing the next generation's population.There are several methods to produce SIT mosquitoes (1) Genetically modified mosquitoes (2) Radiation (3)Stunt larvae development. The major challenges of this technology are separation of the females in the sterile males production process, the generation of well fit males for good competition with the wild males and regulatory barriers for the GM process.


Despite ongoing control efforts, diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria and dengue, continue to pose an enormous global health burden.

Multinational public health organization, such as the World Health Foundation (WHO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, have called for the eradication of malaria and dengue fever.

There is broad recognition of the need for improved tools to combat these diseases including tools for vector control.

Current mosquito control efforts rely heavily on chemical methods including insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying with insecticides, outdoor insecticide fogging, and application of chemical larvicides.

Despite diligent application of available control strategies, including improvements and expanded use of bed nets, mosquito-borne diseases continue to pose major global health challenges.

WHO experts have stated that; "global eradication of malaria cannot be achieved with existing tools" Similarly, a WHO Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR)-sponsored dengue scientific working group acknowledged that, "we are collectively failing to meet the threat posed by dengue as the disease spreads unabated and almost 40% of the world's population now live at risk of contracting it".

WHO has acknowledged that, "innovative vector control tools are badly needed," and in particular that, "methods that improve the ability to deliver persistent treatments more rapidly and efficiently into large urban communities in a sustained way are urgently needed" (WHO report, 2012). Limitations of current vector control methods include:

inability to reach mosquito larval breeding sites and adult resting sites;

evolution of resistance to chemical agents; compliance and infrastructure issues;

concern about the impact on the environment and/or toxicity to humans; and, importantly, cost. The ongoing costs of vector control are substantial,

and maintaining the high levels of donor and national government support necessary to achieve high coverage of control measures over long periods of time has historically proven daunting.

For example total cost of the global strategy (including both country implementation and R&D for vector control, drug, vaccine, and diagnostic technologies development) is estimated to average US$ 5.9 billion per year from 2011 to 2020!

Back to Top