We evaluated how the presence of sugar sources impacted the distribution of Aedes aegypti in different habitats in Durán, Ecuador. Land cover and normalized difference vegetation index maps were used to guide a random point sampling routine to select study grids (30 m × 30 m) in low vegetation (LV) and high vegetation (HV). Five individual plants, at one home in the LV and HV grid, were treated with a different colored, non-attractive, 60% sucrose solution to determine mosquito feeding and movement. Sugar alone is not attractive to mosquitoes, so spraying vegetation with a dyed sugar solution can be used for visual determination of sugar feeding. Outdoor collections using BG sentinel traps and indoor collections using aspirators were conducted at the treatment home and with collection points at 20, 40, and 60 m surrounding the treatment home for three consecutive days. A total of 3,245 mosquitoes in two genera, Aedes and Culex, was collected. The proportion of stained Ae. aegypti females was 56.8% (510/898) and 0% for males. For Culex, 63.9% (248/388) females and 36.1% (140/388) males were collected stained. Aedes aegypti and Culex spp. were found up to 60 m stained in both LV and HV grids. Significantly more stained females Ae. aegypti were found inside homes compared to females and males of Culex spp. in both habitats. This study identifies that outdoor sugar feeding is a common behavior of Ae. aegypti and can be targeted as a control strategy in urban habitats in Latin America.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2