The behavioral and physiological responses of 6-d-old Aedes aegypti (L.) adult females exposed to deltamethrin and DDT were characterized using a free-choice excito-repellency test system. Excluding varying pretest age and carbohydrate availability as possible confounders, insecticide contact (measuring irritancy) and noncontact (measuring repellency) behavioral assays were conducted on two nonbloodfed groups, either unmated or mated (nulliparous), and two blood-fed groups, either parous or newly full-engorged mosquitoes. The degree of escape response to deltamethrin and DDT varied according to the physiological conditioning. Escape rates from contact and noncontact chambers with deltamethrin were more conspicuous in nonbloodfed groups compared with mosquitoes previously bloodfed. There were no significant differences in escape responses between unmated and nulliparous test populations. With DDT, a more pronounced escape response was observed in unmated compared with other physiological conditions. More moderate escape response was seen in nulliparous mosquitoes, and the least was observed in full bloodfed test individuals, regardless of test compound. Ae. aegypti, regardless of pretest conditioning, was completely susceptible to deltamethrin, whereas showing high resistance to DDT. Despite profound differences in resistance, there was no significant difference in avoidance response between chemicals and mosquito conditioning. Moreover, pre- and postbloodmeals were found to influence assay outcome and thus to have relevance on the interpretation of susceptibility and excito-repellency assays.
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