The population of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) was measured in four towns in northern Italy by means of Stegomyia indices (house index: percentage of houses with at least one active breeding site; container index: percentage of containers with larvae; and Breteau index: number of active breeding sites per premises), pupae per premises index (PPI), pupae per hectare index (PHI), and ovitrap monitoring. A detailed investigation on types and number of productive or potential larval habitats in the inspected premises was performed. Catch basins were the most productive breeding sites in both private and public areas. The influence of the premises maintenance and premises shading indices (PMI and PSI) on the population indices and the correlations between the latter and egg density were assessed. The highest PPI was found in badly maintained premises, most times combined with shady coverage. Stegomyia indices and PPI were well correlated with each other, but not with the PHI, which also included the pupae collected in public areas. We obtained a highly positive correlation (R = 0.86) between the PHI and weekly mean egg density estimated 7–14 d after inspection of the premises. The number of females per hectare, calculated using the Focks model, was correlated with the mean egg density of the week after sampling (R = 0.79), and we propose that ovitrap monitoring can be used to evaluate the efficiency of the control activities or to determine a mean egg density threshold for epidemic risk evaluation.
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Vol. 48 • No. 6