In northern Australia the northern salt marsh mosquito Aedes vigilax is a vector of Ross River virus and is an appreciable pest. A coastal wetland adjacent to Darwin's residential suburbs offers a favorable habitat for Ae. vigilax, and despite vigilant mosquito control efforts, peaks of Ae. vigilax occur in excess of 500/trap/night some months. To improve mosquito control for disease and nuisance biting to nearby residential areas, we sought to investigate meteorological drivers associated with these Ae. vigilax peaks. We fitted a cross-sectional logistic regression model to weekly counts of female Ae. vigilax mosquitoes collected between July, 1998 and June, 2009 against variables, tide, rainfall, month, year, and larval control. Aedes vigilax peaks were associated with rainfall during the months September to November compared with January, when adjusted for larval control and tide. To maximize mosquito control efficiency, larval control should continue to be implemented after high tides and with increased emphasis on extensive larval hatches triggered by rainfall between September and November each year. This study reiterates the importance of monitoring and evaluating service delivery programs. Using statistical modelling, service providers can obtain solutions to operational problems using routinely collected data. These methods may be applicable in mosquito surveillance or control programs in other areas.
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Vol. 40 • No. 2