As part of the West Nile virus surveillance program for the state of New Mexico, 13 sites along the Rio Grande River were sampled for mosquitoes during spring and summer 2003. We evaluated 3 different trapping procedures for their effectiveness at capturing selected species of mosquitoes. The 3 methods used were a dry ice-baited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) light trap set 1.5 m above the ground (standard method), a CDC light trap suspended within the forest canopy, and a gravid trap set on the ground. Thirteen sites were sampled for 10 1-night periods biweekly from May through September. The relative numbers of captured Culex tarsalis, Cx. salinarius, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Aedes vexans as well as the numbers of total recorded captures of all species were compared for each trapping method. Significant differences were observed for each species by location and by trapping method. Culex tarsalis was most commonly caught in canopy or standard CDC traps, especially in cottonwood bosque. Culex salinarius was found most frequently in association with marshy water, and was most often caught in gravid or standard light traps. Culex quinque-fasciatus was captured almost exclusively in gravid traps within urban areas. Aedes vexans was primarily sampled in standard CDC light traps and found most frequently in wooded areas near floodplains. With the exception of Cx. quinquefasciatus, no species was collected significantly more frequently in gravid or canopy traps than in the standard CDC light trap. Our findings do not support altering the methods currently used in New Mexico, namely, the use of 1.5-m CDC light traps and gravid traps. An increased use of gravid traps seems to be warranted in monitoring urban vector populations (specifically Cx. quinquefasciatus and Cx. salinarius) that may be involved in human transmission.
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Vol. 22 • No. 2