Evidence-based advice on timing and location of tsetse control measures in Shimba Hills National reserve, Kenya

S. Gachoki*, T. Groen, A. Vrieling, A. Skidmore, Daniel Masiga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


Controlling tsetse flies is critical for effective management of African trypanosomiasis in Sub-Saharan Africa. To enhance timely and targeted deployment of tsetse control strategies a better understanding of their temporal dynamics is paramount. A few empirical studies have explained and predicted tsetse numbers across space and time, but the resulting models may not easily scale to other areas. We used tsetse catches from 160 traps monitored between 2017 and 2019 around Shimba Hills National Reserve in Kenya, a known tsetse and trypanosomiasis hotspot. Traps were divided into two groups: proximal ( 1.0 km) from the outer edge of the reserve boundary. We fitted zero-inflated Poisson and generalized linear regression models for each group using as temporal predictors rainfall, NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and LST (land surface temperature). For each predictor, we assessed their relationship with tsetse abundance using time lags from 10 days up to 60 days before the last tsetse collection date of each trap. Tsetse numbers decreased as distance from the outside of reserve increased. Proximity to croplands, grasslands, woodlands, and the reserve boundary were the key predictors for proximal traps. Tsetse numbers rose after a month of increased rainfall and the following increase in NDVI values but started to decline if the rains persisted beyond a month for distant traps. Specifically, tsetse flies were more abundant in areas with NDVI values greater than 0.7 for the distant group. The study suggests that tsetse control efforts beyond 1.0 km of the reserve boundary should be implemented after a month of increased rains in areas having NDVI values greater than 0.7. To manage tsetse flies effectively within a 1.0 km radius of the reserve boundary, continuous measures such as establishing an insecticide-treated trap or target barrier around the reserve boundary are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0011398
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2023




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