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Insectaries

In our new, state-of-the-art insectaries located at the School, we rear and maintain the largest repository of mosquitoes in Western Europe, including 12 different strains of the genera Aedes, Anopheles and Culex, for on-site laboratory testing.

Climatic variables, including day length, temperature and humidity, can be adjusted in our insectaries to ensure all our arthropod species are reared and housed in optimal conditions. In addition to our mosquito colonies, we also hold on-site colonies of house flies, sandflies and house dust mites.

Nonetheless, we have the capacity to work with almost any arthropod species, including:

  • mosquitoes (insecticide-susceptible and resistant strains)
  • midges
  • bed bugs
  • ticks
  • house dust mites
  • sandflies
  • fleas
  • headlice
  • moths
  • house flies
  • cockroaches
  • horseflies

And we are happy to accommodate requests for testing of any arthropod type not listed above.

Laboratories

Our state-of-the-art facilities at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine include several specialist, controlled-environment laboratories designed for testing of insecticides, repellents, attractants/lures, traps and other arthropod control products.

We can provide evaluative laboratory testing to WHO, EU, and EPA guidelines, as well as developmental and exploratory work to help you understand and resolve any issues or questions you may have.

Our team boasts decades of experience in vector biology and control, and in chemical ecology of medical, agricultural and veterinary arthropods and are able to incorporate techniques such as coupled gas chromatography – electroantennography in addition to behavioural experiments, which we can design around your particular needs.

Free flight rooms

Our unique free-flight rooms allow us to evaluate the efficacy of products under more natural settings where insects can be released into the rooms.

These tests can be particularly useful for evaluation of spatial repellents, repellent treated clothing, bed nets and traps/attractants, or with species which require a large area or environmental factors to show natural behaviours, such as bed bugs.

Field and semi-field sites

We collaborate with field sites and research teams globally to deliver high-quality semi-field and field trials in regions across the world.

These locations include Africa (Benin, Bijagós Islands, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and The Gambia), America (Brazil, Colombia and USA), Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand) and Europe (UK, Germany, Italy and Turkey).

Whether we are testing long-lasting nets in West Africa, skin repellents in the US or repellents against horseflies in the UK, quality assurance is carried out by trial managers within ARCTEC to ensure all data are of the highest standards.

Insect Behaviour Suite and 'Laboratory Bedroom'

Novel products often require development testing in order to fine tune them according to the target insect behaviour.

Our range of olfactometers and wind tunnels help determine the behavioural effects of repellents and attractants. We also have video tracking software that can record and analyse more complex aspects of insect movement.

We also have a “laboratory bedroom” for semi-field testing of products aimed at controlling crawling insects such as bed bugs, where volunteers sleep in a bed and insect behaviour is recorded via infrared video cameras.

All of our facilities are part of the UK GLP compliance programme.

Facilities

Analytical Chemistry

We have the facilities and expertise to carry out analysis of volatiles and the identification of repellents and attractants for a range of insects.

We can perform air entrainment, gas chromatography and coupled gas-chromatography-electroantennography which measures the individual response of a mosquito’s antennae to different volatile compounds.