GRAVID INFUSION WATER COMPARISON FOR COLLECTION OF THE WEST NILE VIRUS VECTOR CULEX QUINQUEFASCIATUS SAY
Gravid traps are an important tool in mosquito surveillance for the collection of gravid female mosquitoes that can be screened for arboviruses. The type of infusion water used is vital in targeting certain mosquito species, especially the West Nile vector, Culex quinquefasciatus Say. The gold standard of infusions is a whey protein mixture but is expensive and time consuming to make. The current study compared a cattail infusion to whey protein to determine if it is as effective at collecting Cx. quinquefasciatus as the current standard. If as attractive, the cattail infusion could be a more economical and less time-consuming option for use in WNV surveillance. Three sites were used to evaluate the efficacy of cattail infusion water with whey protein mixture. Each site had a trap with 100% whey protein, one with 100% cattail infusion and one with 50% cattail water infusion. All 9 traps were operated for 24 hours for seven trap nights. Collected mosquitoes were identified, speciated, and physiological stage was assessed. There was no statistically significant difference in the total number of mosquitoes, gravid female, and total number of females amongst the three types of infusions, at any of the sites for the collection of Cx. quinquefasciatus. These results demonstrate that a cattail infusion can be used as a more economical and less labor-intensive alternative to whey protein for the collection of Cx. quinquefasciatus.