Effective containment of arthropod vectors of infectious diseases is necessary to prevent transmission of pathogens by released, infected vectors and to prevent vectors that escape from establishing populations that subsequently contribute to increased disease. Although rare, past releases illustrate what can go wrong and justify the need for guidelines that minimize risks. An overview of recommendations for insectary facilities, practices, and equipment is provided, and features of four recently published and increasingly rigorous arthropod containment levels (ACLs 1-4) are summarized. ACL-1 is appropriate for research that constitutes the lowest risk level, including uninfected arthropods or vectors that are infected with micro-organisms that do not cause disease in humans, domestic animals, or wildlife. ACL-2 is appropriate for indigenous and exotic arthropods that represent a moderate risk, including vectors infected or suspected of being infected with biosafety level (BSL)-2 infectious agents and arthropods that have been genetically modified in ways that do not significantly affect their fecundity, survival, host preference, or vector competence. ACL-3 is recommended for arthropods that are or may be infected with BSL-3 infectious agents. ACL-3 places greater emphasis on pathogen containment and more restricted access to the insectary than ACL-2. ACL-4 is intended for arthropods that are infected with the most dangerous BSL-4 infectious agents, which can cause life-threatening illness by aerosol or arthropod bite. Adherence to these guidelines will result in laboratory-based arthropod vector research that minimizes risks and results in important new contributions to applied and basic science.