Vectorial transmission of Chagas disease has been strongly reduced in most parts of the Southern Cone countries of South America, except in the Gran Chaco region of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay. Given periodical interruptions of the vector control programmes in the endemic region of the Gran Chaco of Argentina, the vectorial transmission of the disease has been increasing during the last years. From the beginning of 2004, the provincial Ministry of Health of La Rioja, Argentina, started a vector control programme to cover the rural houses of the Los Llanos area in the southwestern area of the Gran Chaco region. This article reports the result of a standardized entomological survey and insecticide application against Chagas disease vectors in the intra and peridomestic structures of the rural houses of Los Llanos. A total of 4062 houses were inspected, of which 46.8% were found to be infested by Triatoma infestans
. Infestation by vector species other than T. infestans
was less than 0.5% (T. eratyrusiformis
and T. platensis
). Intradomestic infestation was found in 27.2%, whereas peridomestic infestation was found in 39.3% of the houses. The lowest figure of intradomestic infestation was 6.6% (Department F Varela), and the highest value of intradomestic infestation was 45.1% (Department Independencia). In spite of the demonstrated success of vector control elsewhere, this study shows that the vector populations are susceptible to pyrethroid insecticides in the southern area of the Gran Chaco of Argentina, that there still are regions where rural houses show heavy infestation by T. infestans
associated with big peridomestic structures and that the vectorial transmission of the Chagas disease will continue, unless a sustained and well organized vector control effort is installed in the region.