Assessment of synthetic floral-based attractants and sugar baits to capture male and female Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)

Fikrig, Kara, Johnson, Brian J., Fish, Durland, and Ritchie, Scott A. (2017) Assessment of synthetic floral-based attractants and sugar baits to capture male and female Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae). Parasites & Vectors, 10.

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Background: The viruses transmitted by Aedes aegypti, including dengue and Zika viruses, are rapidly expanding in geographic range and as a threat to public health. In response, control programs are increasingly turning to the use of sterile insect techniques resulting in a need to trap male Ae. aegypti to monitor the efficacy of the intervention. However, there is a lack of effective and cheap methods for trapping males. Thus, we attempted to exploit the physiological need to obtain energy from sugar feeding in order to passively capture male and female Ae. aegypti (nulliparous and gravid) in free-flight attraction assays. Candidate lures included previously identified floral-based (phenylacetaldehyde, linalool oxide, phenylethyl alcohol, and acetophenone) attractants and an attractive toxic sugar bait-based (ATSB) solution of guava and mango nectars. A free-flight attraction assay assessed the number of mosquitoes attracted to each candidate lure displayed individually. Then, a choice test was performed between the best-performing lure and a water control displayed in Gravid Aedes Traps (GAT).

Results: Results from the attraction assays indicated that the ATSB solution of guava and mango nectars was the most promising lure candidate for males; unlike the floral-based attractants tested, it performed significantly better than the water control. Nulliparous and gravid females demonstrated no preference among the lures and water controls indicating a lack of attraction to floral-based attractants and sugar baits in a larger setting. Although the guava-mango ATSB lure was moderately attractive to males when presented directly (i.e. no need to enter a trap or other confinement), it failed to attract significantly more male, nulliparous female, or gravid female Ae. aegypti than water controls when presented inside a Gravid Aedes Trap.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the use of volatile floral-based attractants and sugar mixtures that have been identified in the literature is not an effective lure by which to kill Ae. aegypti at ATSB stations nor capture them in the GAT. Future trapping efforts would likely be more successful if focused on more promising methods for capturing male and female Ae. aegypti.

Item ID: 50636
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-3305
Keywords: Aedes aegypti, nntomological surveillance, mosquito trap, floral lures, sugar lures, Zika, dengue
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© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Funders: Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: YSPH Downs Fellowship, NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship 1044698
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2017 10:44
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420315 One health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960411 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Urban and Industrial Environments @ 75%
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