The size of Aedes aegypti (L.) mosquito populations and adult survival rates have proven difficult to estimate because of a lack of consistent quantitative measures to equate sampling methods, such as adult trapping, to actual population size. However, such estimates are critical for devising control methods and for modeling the transmission of dengue and other infectious agents carried by this species. Here we take advantage of recent releases of Wolbachia-infected Ae. aegypti coupled with the results of ongoing monitoring to estimate the size of adult Ae. aegypti populations around Cairns in far north Queensland, Australia. Based on the association between released adults infected with Wolbachia and data from Biogenis Sentinel traps, we show that data from two locations are consistent with population estimates of ≈5–10 females per house and daily survival rates of 0.7–0.9 for the released Wolbachia-infected females. Moreover, we estimate that networks of Biogents Sentinel traps at a density of one per 15 houses capture around 5–10% of the adult population per week, and provide a rapid estimate of the absolute population size of Ae. aegypti. These data are discussed with respect to release rates and monitoring in future Wolbachia releases and also the levels of suppression required to reduce dengue transmission.
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Vol. 50 • No. 3