In 2004, gravid-trap infusions made from commercially available garden products were compared in field assays to determine their attractiveness to ovipositing female mosquitoes. Experiments were conducted simultaneously at a residential site and at an auto salvage yard in Lee County, AL, each site having an abundance of container-breeding mosquitoes. Several infusion types were initially screened, from which the following 4 infusions were selected to be compared using gravid traps for their attractiveness to mosquitoes under field conditions: oak leaves, pine straw, red (dyed) hardwood mulch, and composted manure. Culex quinquefasciatus was the only species collected in greater numbers with gravid traps than with light traps, and the difference was more than 5-fold at both study sites. Gravid traps collected (mean ± SD) 3.1 ± 4.3 and 6.9 ± 11.5 Cx. quinquefasciatus females at the residential and auto salvage sites, respectively. The response of Cx. quinquefasciatus females to infusions tested was variable, and no single infusion was consistently more attractive throughout the experiment. Gravid traps collected 1.7 ± 1.9 and 4.7 ± 4.4 Aedes albopictus females, 0.3 ± 1.4 and 0.5 ± 1.3 Cx. nigripalpus females, and 0.3 ± 0.9 and 0.2 ± 0.8 Cx. restuans females at the residential and auto salvage sites, respectively. Roughly 5-, 20- and 10-fold the numbers of females of Aedes albopictus, Cx. nigripalpus, and Cx. restuans were collected by light traps than by gravid traps at both sites. Aedes albopictus females did not demonstrate a preference for any of the infusions tested. Significant difference among infusions for Cx. restuans and Cx. nigripalpus were detected on just 1 trap-night. On this occasion, traps with red (dyed) hardwood mulch collected significantly more females of Cx. restuans and Cx. nigripalpus than did traps with other infusions. This work indicates that gravid traps are effective tools for collecting Cx. quinquefasciatus females, and a wide variety of organic materials may be used to produce infusions that can be used to attract ovipositing container-breeding mosquitoes.
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Vol. 24 • No. 2