Title

Oviposition Responses and Potential Larval Control Methods of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Downspout Extensions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

10-2-2019

Department

Biological Sciences

School

Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Abstract

Aedes albopictus (Skuse) is an important invasive species and vector of several important arboviruses across the globe. This species uses small water-holding cryptic containers as egg laying sites, which pose serious challenges to effective control of adult mosquito populations. Herein, we examined the response of gravid female Ae. albopictus to various features of common downspout extension tubes associated with human dwellings and the effectiveness of control efforts to eliminate larvae. Controlled field trials quantified oviposition in 1) extensions versus rubber bowls meant to mimic other container types, 2) among different shapes and materials of extensions, and 3) among different colors of extensions. We also investigated how flushing and use of Bti larvicides could control larvae. Females were more likely to lay eggs in flat plastic or metal extensions compared to rubber bowls. Eggs were also more plentiful in flat plastic extensions versus either corrugated or metal, and dark brown corrugated extensions had more eggs compared to tan or white. Flushing reduced nearly all larvae when the extensions were properly angled, and applications of Bti pellets or dunks were effective at killing most larvae. We show that dark extensions were preferred over other colors, and that larvae can be effectively removed with minimal effort. However, effective control will likely only come from better education of the public about proper installation of extensions.

Publication Title

Journal of Medical Entomology

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