Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light traps were modified for use with light-emitting diodes (LED) and compared against a control trap (incandescent light) to determine the effectiveness of blue, green, and red lights against standard incandescent light routinely used for sand fly surveillance. Light traps were baited with dry ice and rotated through a 4 × 4 Latin square design during May, June, and July, 2006. Trapping over 12 trap nights yielded a total of 2, 298 sand flies in the village of Bahrif, 6 km north of Aswan on the east bank of the Nile River in southern Egypt. Phlebotomus papatasi comprised 94.4% of trap collections with five other species collected in small numbers. Over half (55.13%) of all sand flies were collected from red light traps and significantly more sand flies (P < 0.05) were collected from red light traps than from blue, green, or incandescent light traps. Red light traps collected more than twice as many sand flies as control (incandescent) traps and > 4 × more than blue and green light traps. Results indicate that LED red light is a more effective substitute for standard incandescent light when surveying in areas where P. papatasi is the predominant sand fly species. Each LED uses approximately 15% of the energy that a standard CDC lamp consumes, extending battery life and effective operating time of traps. Our prototype LED-modified traps performed well in this hot, arid environment with no trap failures.
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