A lethal ovitrap-based mass trapping scheme for dengue control in Australia: II. Impact on populations of the mosquito Aedes aegypti


Scott Ritchie, School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, PO Box 6811, Cairns, QLD 4870, Australia. Tel.: +61 740503619; fax: +61 740311440; e-mail: scott.ritchie@jcu.edu.au


In Cairns, Australia, the impacts on Aedes aegypti L. (Diptera: Culicidae) populations of two types of ‘lure & kill’ (L&K) lethal ovitraps (LOs), the standard lethal ovitrap (SLO) and the biodegradable lethal ovitrap (BLO) were measured during three mass-trapping interventions. To assess the efficacy of the SLO, two interventions (one dry season and one wet season) were conducted in three discrete areas, each lasting 4 weeks, with the following treatments: (i) SLOs (>200 traps, ∼4/premise), BG-sentinel traps (BGSs; ∼15, 1/premise) and larval control (container reduction and methoprene treatment) and (ii) larval control alone, and (iii) untreated control. Female Ae. aegypti populations were monitored for 4 weeks pre- and post-treatment in all three areas using BGSs and sticky ovitraps (SOs) or non-lethal regular ovitraps (ROs). In the dry season, 206 SLOs and 15 BGSs set at 54 and 15 houses, respectively, caught and killed an estimated 419 and 73 female Ae. aegypti, respectively. No significant decrease in collection size of female Ae. aegypti could be attributed to the treatments. In the wet season, 243 SLOs and 15 BGSs killed ∼993 and 119 female Ae. aegypti, respectively. The mean number of female Ae. aegypti collected after 4 weeks with SOs and BGSs was significantly less than the control (LSD post-hoc test). The third mass-trapping intervention was conducted using the BLO during the wet season in Cairns. For this trial, three treatment areas were each provided with BLOs (>500, ∼4/premise) plus larval control, and an untreated control area was designated. Adult female Ae. aegypti were collected for 4 weeks pre- and post-treatment using 15 BGSs and 20 SOs. During this period, 53.2% of BLOs contained a total of 6654 Ae. aegypti eggs. Over the intervention period, collections of Ae. aegypti in the treatment areas were significantly less than in the control area for BGSs but not SOs. An influx of relatively large numbers of young females may have confounded the measurement of changes in populations of older females in these studies. This is an important issue, with implications for assessing delayed action control measures, such as LOs and parasites/pathogens that aim to change mosquito age structure. Finally, the high public acceptability of SLOs and BLOs, coupled with significant impacts on female Ae. aegypti populations in two of the three interventions reported here, suggest that mass trapping with SLOs and BLOs can be an effective component of a dengue control strategy.