This study evaluated the effectiveness of single Mosquito Magnet® traps to consistently reduce biting midge populations in a coastal northwest Florida residential neighborhood. Midge abundance from 5 backyards, each with a Mosquito Magnet trap, was compared with 3 backyards without traps (controls). Midge populations were sampled once weekly for 24 h in each backyard by using a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suction trap baited with carbon dioxide. In addition, midge accumulations from Mosquito Magnet traps were collected once a week at the time of CDC trap operation while biting midge populations were manually sampled from each backyard by using a “sand fly bat” (i.e., a wire-handle flyswatter fitted with a 10.5-cm2 plastic 14 × 14 mesh screen). Eighteen midge species were collected during the study but the majority (99.9%) collected from all backyards were (in descending order): Culicoides mississippiensis, C. furens, and C. melleus. Midge populations from CDC traps in yards with Mosquito Magnets were significantly lower on 2 of 45 wk (March 28 and April 3) when compared with control backyards. Weekly reduction attributed to Mosquito Magnets was not consistent and ranged from 4.2 to 85.3%. No significant difference was found in mean midge abundance on sand fly bats from yards with Mosquito Magnets compared with control yards. On the average, cooperators with Mosquito Magnet traps reported that their seasonal level of midge reduction (as related to a monthly ranked degree of annoyance) was variable and often not consistently below their threshold.
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Vol. 21 • No. 2