Spatial distribution of immature stages of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) in flower pots in a Spanish cemetery and field evaluation of metallic copper as a control agent

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2017
Authors:R. Eritja, Herreros E.
Journal:Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association
Date Published:2/5/2017
Keywords:Aedes albopictus, cemetery, control, copper, distribution, larvae

Cemeteries have been shown to permit the development of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus in Southern Europe and this has facilitated its establishment on account of the huge quantity of flower pots which are adequate breeding sites for this container-adapted species. A control technique consisting of the use of pieces of metallic copper has been repeatedly proposed as a control solution for mosquito larvae in these pots. Although theoretically promising, this technique has not been used at an operative level, as there has been a lack of information on the best adapted copper formulation as well as on the mosquito larval population dynamics. The present study was planned to characterise the spatial larval distribution of Aedes albopictus in flower pots in a wall-niche burial system, and to test the cost-effectiveness of metallic copper application. We found that the preliminary distribution of larvae and pupae in the cemetery was not related to height from the ground but varied between buildings. During the 8 weeks of the trial, application of copper in the form of thin electric wire resulted in a season-accumulated reduction of 90.95% in the production of larvae and 97.06% of the pupae. Application costs and social interactions are discussed as other control methodologies would be more cost-efficient in this specific context. Copper application could be suitable for domestic environments, if application is performed adequately. Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association 35: 13-17, 2017

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