FIELD EVALUATIONS OF ATTRACTIVE TOXIC SUGAR BAIT STATION AND VEGETATION SPRAY APPLICATIONS FOR CONTROL OF AEDES AEGYPTI IN KEY LARGO, FLORIDA
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, vectors of many arboviruses including Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, are difficult to control with traditional methods. We tested two novel approaches utilizing attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSB) against Ae. aegypti in the upper Florida Keys. Residential sites on the island of Key Largo were systematically selected using Google maps. Sites received either bait stations or vegetation spray application with ATSB. An untreated control site was selected to monitor mosquito populations. Adult and egg counts were monitored through baited BiogentsSentinel and oviposition traps. The treatment evaluation lasted 28 days following a 14-day pre-treatment evaluation. Treatment efficacy was evaluated using regression models to estimate the percent reduction of mosquitoes over time. Post-treatment, Ae. aegypti mosquito populations were reduced by 81% and 74% at days 7 and 28 (p<0.05) at the bait station site, while mosquito populations at the spray treatment site for the same period (7 to 28 days) were reduced by 66% and 82% (p<0.05), respectively. Treatment and time had no significant effect on the proportion of eggs collected after the application of the ATSB treatments. This is the first residential field trial against the Zika vector, Ae. aegypti, in South Florida that demonstrated successful reduction of female and males using both ATSB stations and vegetation spray treatments. The findings suggest that 1) ATSB stations and vegetation spray applications can reduce populations of Ae. aegypti in residential and semi-tropical areas at least up to 28 days and 2) Ae. aegypti female mosquitoes in South Florida feed on sugar, and their sugar-feeding behavior can be exploited to enhance control strategies.