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Larval source management

Larval Source Management (LSM) prevents larvae from developing into adults at mosquito breeding sites.

Larval source management is an important part of the integrated ‘toolkit’ to tackle diseases such as malaria and dengue. By targeting the breeding sites of disease-transmitting mosquitoes, larval source management aims to disrupt their life cycle and decrease mosquito populations. 

Through larval source management we can prevent the emergence of adult mosquitoes and lessen the transmission of malaria, dengue and other vector-borne diseases.

Larval source management programmes include assessments of local environments, and consultation with community members and local health authorities. Together, we identify and eliminate breeding sites using various methods. 

These include:

  • The physical removal of stagnant water bodies or containers, 
  • The application of larvicides to eradicate mosquito larvae, and 
  • Structural modifications to prevent water accumulating.

The impact of larval source management has made a big difference in various contexts. Precisely targeting mosquito breeding sites has significantly reduced mosquito populations. 

The indirect benefits of larval source management include a reduction in nuisance biting and an improved quality of life. With fewer cases of disease, the overall health and wellbeing of communities is improved.

One of the challenges of larval source management is identifying and accessing breeding sites, particularly in complex urban settings or areas that lack resources. By maintaining strong surveillance systems, engaging with local communities, and working closely with relevant authorities, we make sure breeding sites are adequately identified and eliminated in the long term.

Integrating larval source management with other control strategies, such as insecticide-treated nets and community education programmes, increases the impact of disease control. 

Through working closely with local communities, we have helped build a sense of empowerment and ownership, encouraging community-led initiatives in source reduction activities. These efforts not only contribute to the success of larval source management interventions but also promote sustainable community-based vector control practices.In northern Mozambique, Venezuela, and Syria targeted larval source management has helped to decrease the burden of malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis.