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Literature Review (Aedes vexans trapping)

Aedes vexans, otherwise known as the Inland Floodwater Mosquito, is found in

every state of the USA. Current findings suggest that Aedes vexans is involved in
vectoring a handful of diseases, including equine encephalitis and west nile virus
(Meigan 2013). As such, monitoring and managing populations is important for ensuring
sound public health.
Aedes vexans populations tend to thrive within the summer months (JuneSeptember) after hatching in the spring (Friesen and Johnson 2013). Trapping should
take place within these months in order to ensure optimal collection periods.
Populations tend to increase in number shortly after rainfall, as standing water provides
adequate breeding grounds for this species. Prime breeding sites for Aedes vexans
include swamps, ditches, and small pools of standing water (Meigan 2013). Methods for
trapping Aedes vexans include (but are not limited to) planting of CO2-baited light traps
and use of battery-powered backpack aspirators (Friesen and Johnson 2013).
CO2 traps, issued by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), utilize
a mosquitos natural attraction to carbon dioxide to draw the mosquito to the trap. The
traps are equipped with fans to aid in dispersal of CO 2 chemical. The CO2 mechanism is
aided by an incandescent light bulb to provide additional attraction to the device (nightfeeding mosquitoes tend to be attracted to bright light). Programming a timer in the
device allows for controlled, periodic use (Friesen and Johnson 2013).
Battery-powered backpack aspirators use a suction mechanism to collect
mosquitoes into the storage unit. Some aspirators come equipped with extension rods
to allow for distant suction. Use of an aspirator requires fairly thorough knowledge of
areas where Aedes vexans (and other mosquito species) may be found because
collection requires direct suctioning of mosquitoes. Aedes vexans, a common outdoor
feeder, may be found resting on foliage or near a potential breeding site (Friesen and
Johnson 2013). These areas may be optimal sites for collecting an adequate amount of
specimens. A new model, the Prokopack, provides a very flexible suction rod and
considerably extendable rod for collection in hard-to-reach areas (Vazquez-Prokopek
and Galvin 2010). This model may provide a more convenient, efficient machine than
the standard model issued by the CDC.
Trapping should occur at night, as Aedes vexans is primarily a nocturnal feeder
(Meigan 2013). For optimal usage of time, CO2 traps should be placed (or replaced)
during the day and collected the following morning. In addition, a group of entomologists
or knowledgeable volunteers should be sent out with backpack aspirators to collect from
the surrounding areas (also at night).

For adequate collection, trapping and aspirating should occur frequently

throughout the summer months, allowing enough time to collect a large sample of the
population. If a small amount of the mosquito population is, in fact, infected with a
significant pathogen, a large sample will be more likely to reveal this. In addition to
collecting throughout the summer, monitoring programs should consider collecting
during multiple years. When collecting during one year only, a possible drought or other
weather condition might inhibit adequate sample size (Friesen and Johnson 2013).
Thus, a multi-year collection project should account for this possible obstacle to
adequate specimen collection.
Works Cited
Crans, W. 2013. Rutgers SEBS Dept. of Entomology, Aedes vexans (Meigen).
Friesen, K. M., G. D. Johnson. 2013. Evaluation of Methods of Collecting Blood-Engorged
Mosquitoes from Habitats Within a Wildlife Range.
Meigen. 2013. WRBU: Aedes vexans.
Vazquez-Prokopek, G., Galvin, W., Kelly, R., Kitron, U. 2009. A New, Cost-Effective BatteryPowered Aspirator For Adult Mosquito Collections.


We will be using CDC backpack aspirators and CO2-baited light traps. The CDC backpack
aspirator is available from the John W. Hock Company and is pictured in Figure 1 and 2. A CO2
baited light trap is shown in Figure 3.

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3
Collection with CDC Backpack Aspirators
The aspirators will be used to collect mosquitoes from the areas surrounding patients homes or
believed sites of infection, especially around sources of water or forested areas. Aedes vexans
are more active at dusk and night, therefore collections will take place between sunset and
sunrise once a week. The collection bags will be frozen at -20 degrees celsius and sorted by

Collection with CO2-baited Light Traps

Assembly and placement of the traps will occur during the few months leading up to the
collection time frame. Every day the mosquitoes will be retrieved from the traps and the trap will
be reset again before dusk. A light trap will be placed in each yard of the victims. This will allow
for close surveillance of the mosquitoes in that area that may have given the disease to a victim
or received the pathogen from a victim. There will also be traps placed near the standing water
and marshy areas that are within the city and neighboring areas of each of the victims homes.
Locations and Time Frame for Trapping
Because the Aedes vexans mosquito has a seasonal life cycle, the best time to collect will be
during the summer. Collection will take place starting on the first of July and ending September
30th. This will be done over the course of two years to account for possible climate differences
that may affect growth and development of the mosquito. The collections will occur beginning at
dusk and carry on until dawn of the next morning for each night during the three month time
frame. Trapping will be implemented more thoroughly on days after a large rainstorm because
there are likely to be more mosquitoes in areas that experience these conditions.
The mosquito will be collected in a variety of locations corresponding to those at which the
victims lived and traveled. Trapping will be set up and performed in marshy areas around
Midland, Texas; Camden, Arkansas; Renovo, Pennsylvania; Clarinda, Iowa; Salida, Colorado;
Brainerd, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Burnaby, British Columbia; Olympia, Washington; and
Los Angeles, California. These will be the main locations monitored during the trapping periods.
Areas near the homes of the victims will be more thoroughly screened.