Changes in spatial distribution of mosquitoes over time in a Sahelian village werestudied to understand the sources of the mosquitoes during the dry season when no larval sites are found. At that time, the sources of Anopheles gambiae Giles may be local shelters used by aestivating mosquitoes or migrants from distant populations. The mosquito distribution was more aggregated during the dry season, when few houses had densities 7- to 24-fold higher than expected. The high-density houses during the dry season differed from those of the wet season. Most high-density houses during the dry season changed between years, yet their vicinity was rather stable. Scan statistics confirmed the presence of one or two adjacent hotspots in the dry season, usually found on one edge of the village. These hotspots shifted between the early and late dry season. During the wet season, the hotspots were relatively stable near the main larval site. The locations of the hotspots in the wet season and early and late dry season were similar between years. Season-specific, stable, and focal hotspots are inconsistent with the predictions based on the arrival of migrants from distant localities during the dry season, but are consistent with the predictions based on local shelters used by aestivating mosquitoes. Targeting hotspots in Sahelian villages for vector control may not be effective because the degree of aggregation is moderate, the hotspots are not easily predicted, and they are not the sources of the population. However, targeting the dry-season shelters may be highly cost-effective, once they can be identified and predicted.
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Vol. 51 • No. 1