Which is the best insecticide for killing tsetse?

The most potent insecticides against tsetse are the synthetic pyrethroids such as deltamethrin, alpacypermethrin and beta-cyfluthrin, all of which have been used to control tsetse successfully. It is important to make sure you are using the right formulation and the right dose. For targets, the suspension concentrates (s.c.) seem to be most effective since they kill tsetse following even the slightest contact; other formulations such as emulsifiable concentrates (e.c.) require a longer period of contact (Torr, 1985).

The dose varies according to the insecticide and the required period of persistence. However, a 1% suspension of deltamethrin s.c. applied to cotton fabric will be effective for at least a year, irrespective of rainfall or temperature (Torr et al., 1992). Similar performances can be obtained from suspension concentrates of 1% beta-cyfluthrin and 2% alphacypermethrin (Mangwiro et al., 1999).

Tiny targets, used against riverine species, are impregnated with deltamethrin at a concentration of 300mg/m2.


Torr, S.J. (1985). The susceptibility of Glossina pallidipes Austen (Diptera: Glossinidae) to insecticide deposits on targets. Bulletin of Entomological Research 75, 451-458.

Torr, S.J., Holloway, M.T.P. & Vale, G.A. (1992). Improved persistence of insecticide deposits on targets for controlling Glossina pallidipes (Diptera: Glossinidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 82, 525-533.

Mangwiro, T.N.C., Torr, S.J., Cox, J.R. & Holloway M.T.P. (1999). The efficacy of various pyrethroid insecticides for use on odour-baited targets to control tsetse. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 13, 315-323.