Accurate estimates of host-vector contact rates are required for precise determination of arbovirus transmission intensity. We designed and tested a novel mosquito collection device, the Nest Mosquito Trap (NMT), to collect mosquitoes as they attempt to feed on unrestrained nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. In the laboratory, the NMT collected nearly onethird of the mosquitoes introduced to the nest boxes. We then used these laboratory data to estimate our capture efficiency of field-collected bird-seeking mosquitoes collected over 66 trap nights. We estimated that 7.5 mosquitoes per trap night attempted to feed on nesting birds in artificial nest boxes. Presence of the NMT did not have a negative effect on avian nest success when compared to occupied nest boxes that were not sampled with the trap. Future studies using the NMT may elucidate the role of nestlings in arbovirus transmission and further refine estimates of nesting bird and vector contact rates.
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Vol. 37 • No. 1