An improved autocidal gravid ovitrap for the control and surveillance of Aedes aegypti

Andrew J. Mackay, Manuel Amador, Roberto Barrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Limited success has been achieved using traditional vector control methods to prevent the transmission of dengue viruses. Integrated control programs incorporating alternative tools, such as gravid ovitraps (lethal ovitraps and sticky ovitraps) may provide greater potential for monitoring and reducing vector populations and dengue virus transmission. We had developed an autocidal gravid ovitrap (AGO) as a simple, low-cost device for surveillance and control of Ae. aegypti without the use of pesticides that does not require servicing for an extended period of time. The purpose of our study was to improve the efficacy and efficiency of this device. Methods. Competitive assays were performed in the laboratory and an outdoor cage to evaluate whether modifications to the structure and appearance of our original trap design (AGO-A), and the addition of an olfactory bait (hay infusion), improve trap function. The performance of a modified trap design (AGO-B) was then assessed and compared with conventional ovitraps in a series of field tests in San Juan City, Puerto Rico. Generalized linear mixed models were used to analyze adult Ae. aegypti capture data from the laboratory, outdoor cage and field experiments. Results: Increasing the size of the trap entrance, altering the color of trap components, and increasing the volume/surface area of the aqueous bait significantly improved the performance of the AGO in the outdoor cage. In a subsequent field comparison, captures of Ae. aegypti females were 3.7 fold greater in the improved trap (AGO-B), compared with the original design (AGO-A). An infusion bait produced "in situ" significantly improved capture rates of the improved trap under both semi-natural and field conditions. Semi-weekly collections of Ae. aegypti females in the AGO-B were significantly correlated with cumulative rainfall 8 to 28 days prior to sampling, whereas egg collections in paired conventional ovitraps were not. When vector abundance was low, the AGO-B provided greater sensitivity and precision as a surveillance device, compared with paired conventional ovitraps. Conclusions: The AGO-B can be used to efficiently attract and capture gravid Ae. aegypti females for more than 8 weeks without the need for trap maintenance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number225
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Oviposition
  • Puerto Rico
  • Sticky ovitraps
  • Vector surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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