Example of the effect of control on mosquito density during a simulated 2003-like dengue outbreak. The sequence of images (A-D) shows a simulated outbreak (based on the 2003 outbreak) on day 1 (Panel A), day 60 (Panel B), day 120 (Panel C) and day 180 (Panel D) The red markers indicated dengue case locations. The grey layer indicates local mosquito density in each model cell (white = 0 mosquitoes, light grey = 1–10 mosquitoes, dark grey = 10–50 mosquitoes, black = 50+ mosquitoes per cell). Since the outbreak occurred during a time when the seasonal mosquito density was still rising, the background mosquito density is lower in Panel A than in the other panels. A video of the entire sequence is supplied as Additional file 2. It can be seen how vector control significantly affects the mosquito numbers over the course of the outbreak.