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Keywords:

  • Aedes aegypti;
  • citronella;
  • conditioning;
  • dengue;
  • deterrence;
  • insect repellent;
  • learning;
  • memory;
  • mosquito behaviour;
  • neem;
  • oviposition site choice;
  • ovitrap;
  • vector control;
  • vector surveillance

Abstract.  Oviposition site choice by female mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti (L) (Diptera: Culicidae), was affected by rearing them in water treated with 0.016% of the repellent Mozaway™ containing citronella and neem. Given a choice between a bowl of repellent-treated and a bowl of untreated water, Ae. aegypti reared in untreated water strongly preferred to oviposit on the clean water (93–98%) instead of repellent-treated water. This demonstrates effective deterrence of oviposition by dilute Mozaway™. Those reared in repellent-treated water were less deterred: 38–46% of their eggs were laid on the repellent-treated water and 54–62% on the clean water. Evidently the female mosquitoes reared in repellent-treated water were conditioned against oviposition site deterrence, as shown when choice tests were conducted 6 days post-emergence from the treated water. This demonstrates learning and memory in the mosquito Ae. aegypti, with implications for dengue vector surveillance and control.