Modified veranda-trap hut for improved evaluation of vector control interventions

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Abstract

Experimental huts with veranda traps have been used in Tanzania since 1963 for the study of residual insecticides for use with insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying. Mosquitoes are allowed unrestricted entry through the eaves to facilitate the collection of an estimable proportion of mosquitoes that attempt to exit through the eave gaps, which are left open on two sides of the hut. This study was designed to validate the use of eave baffles to funnel entry and to prevent mosquito escape, and to determine biting times of Anopheles arabiensis (Patton) (Diptera: Culicidae). Anopheles arabiensis and Culex quinquefasciatus (Say) (Diptera: Culicidae) were released into the room at 20.30 hours and collected the following morning from veranda traps, window traps and the room. Centers for Disease Control light traps hung overnight next to volunteers were emptied every 2 h to determine peak biting times. A total of 55% of An. arabiensis were trapped before 22.30 hours and the highest peak in ‘biting’ was recorded during 18.30–20.30 hours. Of the released An. arabiensis that exited into veranda traps, 7% were captured in veranda traps entered through baffles and 93% were captured in traps entered through unmodified eaves. When veranda screens were left open to allow for escape outdoors, recapture rates were 68% for huts with eave baffles and 39% for huts with unmodified eaves. The comparison of open eaves with baffled eaves validated the assumption that in huts of the traditional non-baffled design, 50% of mosquitoes escape through open eaves. Eave baffles succeeded in reducing the potential for mosquito exit and produced more precise estimates of effect.

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