Maximising mosquito collections from barrier screens: the impacts of physical design and operation parameters

Pollard, Edgar J.M., Russell, Tanya L., and Burkot, Thomas R. (2019) Maximising mosquito collections from barrier screens: the impacts of physical design and operation parameters. Parasites & Vectors, 12. 31.

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Background Traditional methods for collecting outdoor resting mosquitoes are generally inefficient with relatively low numbers caught per unit effort. The barrier screen, designed to intercept mosquitoes as they fly between areas where blood meals are obtained and oviposition sites where eggs are laid, was developed in 2013 as a novel method of sampling outdoor mosquito populations. Barrier screens do not use an odorant lure and are thus a non-mechanical, simple, low maintenance and passive sampling method for use, even in isolated locations.

Methods To maximise mosquito collections from barrier screens, multiple Latin square 3 × 3 experiments were conducted in Smithfield, Queensland, Australia. Parameters of barrier screens were varied including the effects of construction materials (net weight and colour), screen design and frequency of inspections.

Results Significantly more mosquitoes were collected on simple dark coloured screens of 50% or 70% shading weight with collections every 30 min. Sixty percent of mosquitoes were found on barrier screens within 60 cm of the ground.

Conclusions The barrier screen is a relatively new adaptable tool that can answer a number of behavioural, ecological and epidemiological questions relevant for the surveillance and basic understanding of the movement and resting habits of mosquitoes by sex or physiological status. This method has demonstrated robustness in collecting a wide range of mosquito species as well as flexibility in where barrier screens can be deployed to explore mosquito movements within rural and peri-domestic environments.

Item ID: 56903
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-3305
Keywords: outdoor mosquito collections, Anopheles farauti, barrier screen, mosquito movement, passive tool
Copyright Information: 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: Rotarians Against Malaria (RAM)
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2019 06:30
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310307 Population ecology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420315 One health @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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