Integrated Mosquito Management

Integrated Mosquito Management

The integrated mosquito management methods currently employed by organized mosquito control programs and endorsed by the CDC and EPA are comprehensive and specifically tailored to safely counter each stage of the mosquito life cycle.  Larval control through water management and source reduction, where compatible with other land management uses, is a prudent pest management alternative - as is use of the environmentally friendly EPA-registered larvicides currently available.  When source elimination or larval control measures are clearly inadequate, or in the case of imminent disease, the EPA and CDC have emphasized in a published joint statement the need for considered application of adulticides by certified applicators trained in the specialized handling characteristics of these products.

Despite intense pressures to eliminate the use of public health insecticides, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and other public health agencies agree that it is essential that these products remain available for disease prevention.  Indeed, they emphasize that proper use of mosquitocides by established mosquito control programs does not put the general-public or the environment at unreasonable risk from runoff, leaching, or drift when used according to label specifications.

We already have the mosquitoes.  We are continually importing the diseases they carry.  We must be prepared to prevent their becoming part of our public health landscape.  That requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control.  However, continued public support is crucial for the success of each of these efforts.  We will all pay the price for complacency.

Disease prevention through preparedness remains the mosquito control profession’s primary focus, and is fully consistent with the very finest traditions of public health.  Yet, the continued increase in worldwide tourism and trade virtually guarantees further challenges from exotic diseases requiring ready control expertise to prevent their establishment and spread.  Should these emerging mosquito-borne diseases of man and animals settle into the American public health landscape, particularly as an unintended consequence of environmental policy initiatives, we will have only ourselves to blame, for we have the means to control these diseases within our grasp.  We must remain prepared to accept and meet these challenges—our citizens and our nation’s wildlife deserve no less.

Mosquito Control



New Jersey Light Traps

The New Jersey light trap allows a mosquito control program to monitor the abundance and species composition of the light-attracted mosquitoes in the area.  Light traps do not reflect the abundance or presence of species that are negatively phototaxic or only active during the day.

There are two primary functions which the New Jersey Light Trap performs in mosquito surveillance programs. One is to provide a historical record of mosquito abundance and species presence in an area. Historical data show fluctuations on a year to year basis as well as fluctuations over the span of one season.  This type of information can be used to document the impact of mosquito control activities and provide the justification for additional control efforts in an area..  Light trap records are especially useful for program budgeting and acquiring water management and pesticide use permits.

The second function of the New Jersey Light Trap in parish mosquito surveillance programs is to provide rapid information on mosquito abundance and species composition for planning and directing day-today mosquito control activities.  In this function, the data acquired by the New Jersey Light Trap are used to 1) determine or to help the need, the timing, and/or the location of pesticide applications, and to monitor the results of those pesticide applications, 2) to help determine the cause of repeated mosquito complaints in a given area, and 3) as a supplement or backup to more expedient surveillance techniques such as landing or bite counts.




CDC Traps

The CDC Miniature Light Trap was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to provide a reliable and portable sampling device for the collection of mosquitoes and sand flies used in arbovirus and taxonomic studies.  This battery operated trap is being used throughout the world in arbovirus and taxonomic studies.  It has become a standard, battery-operated survey tool for mosquito control operations.  When configured with a switch and gate, it is possible, with only a small battery, to collect for 3 or 4 nights with only one trip to the trap.

CDC traps fitted with ultra violet (black) light used in conjunction with CDC trap will generally increase the number and species of mosquitoes caught, including those species not normally attracted to visible light.  Light traps are often supplied with carbon dioxide (CO2) to enhance their attractiveness to mosquitoes. The CO2 source may be a small (fist sized) block of dry ice or a cylinder of compressed gas.  In these cases, the addition of CO2 has been found to attract both greater numbers and more species of mosquitoes to the traps.  This is due to CO2 being a biting attractant for adult mosquitoes.

CDC Trap


American Mosquito Control Association

Center for Disease Control and Prevention


BG-Sentinel traps

The BG Sentinel Traps use a combination of attractive visual and olfactory cues. They have the advantage of being collapsible and light. BG-Sentinel traps are more effective in capturing Ae. aegypti than CDC backpack aspirators, and also collect adult females in all physiological states (Maciel-de-Freitas et al. 2006, Williams et al. 2006, Ball and Ritchie 2010). These traps are also effective for collecting Ae. albopictus (Meeraus et al. 2008, Bhalala and Arias 2009, Farajollahi et al. 2009, Obenauer et al. 2010). The efficiency of BG traps can be increased by baiting them with lures (e.g., CO2, BG-Lure®).


Resting Station

A resting station takes advantage of the fact that night-flying species frequently rest in dark, sheltered places during the day. A resting station may be a natural or man-made sheltered situation (e.g., rotted tree boxes).  In either case, the resting mosquitoes may be counted with the aid of a flashlight or collected with a suction device (aspirator) or with a killing tube. Mosquitoes usually found in these include Culiseta melanura and Anopheles spp.



The primary purpose of an ovitrap is to induce container-breeding species to lay their eggs in the trap, for subsequent identification. The most widely used ovitrap is the “little black jar” (LBJ).  This consist of a glass or plastic jar, which partially filled with water. A rough textured fiberboard paddle, strip of seed germination paper, or strip of velour paper, long enough o extend above the water line, is placed in the jar. Container-breeding mosquitoes, such as Ae. aegypti, Ae. albopictus,  Ae. triseriatus, lay eggs (ovipost) on the paddle or paper in preference to the smooth-sided jar.  The paddles are periodically removed and bought to the laboratory for microscopic examination.

While they are not adult-sampling devices per se, ovitraps do furnish some index of adult mosquito density. Caution should be used, however, since the correlation between egg count and adult population density is not always consistent because the number of eggs laid (fecundity) may vary during the season or even over the lifetime of a single generation.


Gravid Traps

The gravid trap is the most effective surveillance tool used by MCCI for collecting female Culex mosquitoes, the primary vector of West Nile virus.  Female Culex mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant and organic rich water in which they lay their egg rafts after ingesting a blood meal.  The gravid trap utilizes a tub filled with water that mimics this nursery source, attracting the female mosquitoes to land on the water and lay their eggs.  A battery-powered fan blows the mosquitoes into a net for collection

The mosquitoes must be kept alive until frozen.  Testing is performed on groups containing 5 – 100 females per sample, otherwise known as a "mosquito pool." Once they are ready to be tested, or shipped to a lab to be tested, they must be maintained at -20 degrees Celcius.


 Landing Rate Counts

With this method of surveillance, inspectors use themselves as bait.  They record the number of mosquitoes landing in a given period of time (usually one minute).  They may also count the number of mosquitoes approaching, but not landing.  It is important when employing this method into surveillance that inspectors always stand in the exact location.  When employing this method t you are only counting a portion of the mosquitoes landing on you, because you can’t see more than about one fourth  too one third of your body.


Sentinel Chickens

Chicken flocks are placed in strategic, secure locations, where they are exposed to biting mosquitoes.  Blood samples are taken weekly and are shipped to the State Department of Health testing lab.  The animals are maintained in one location and bled on a regular schedule.  Part of the test results are returned in one week; the second portion is returned in two weeks. The sampling is active, since it is not dependent on reporting by others, and does not rely on chance reports from the public.  A positive chicken is proof of current, local transmission and a narrow window of time of infection can be calculated.


Bingham Honey Trap

A system was recently developed that involves collecting mosquitoes in CO2-baited traps, where the insects expectorate virus on sugar-baited nucleic acid preservation cards. The cards are then submitted for virus detection using molecular assays.  We report the application of this system for detecting flaviviruses and alphaviruses in wild mosquito populations in northern Australia. This study was the first to employ non-powered passive box traps (PBTs) that were designed to house cards baited with honey as the sugar source.  Overall, 20/144 (13.9%) of PBTs from different weeks contained at least one virus-positive card.  West Nile virus Kunjin subtype (WNV KUN), Ross River virus (RRV), and Barmah Forest virus (BFV) were detected, being identified in 13/20, 5/20, and 2/20 of positive PBTs, respectively.  Importantly, sentinel chickens deployed to detect flavivirus activity did not seroconvert at two Northern Territory sites where four PBTs yielded WNV KUN.  Sufficient WNV KUN and RRV RNA was expectorated onto some of the honey-soaked cards to provide a template for gene sequencing, enhancing the utility of the sugar-bait surveillance system for investigating the ecology, emergence, and movement of arboviruses.


Trap – N –Kill Mosquito Traps


The SpringStar Mosquito Trap-N-Kill® product can be used as part of an effective mosquito control program against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, West Nile virus, and yellow fever. The Mosquito Trap-N-Kill® is a simple black container that mimics the breeding sites for the Aedes mosquito species, and kills females when they enter the trap to lay their eggs. It is easy to assemble, and can provide a low-cost, low-pesticide alternative to fogging practices. Similar lethal ovitrap technologies have been effectively used in Queensland, Australia and the Philippines as part of their dengue control programs.


Mosquito Facts

Female mosquitoes recognize this as a site to lay their eggs. Mosquitoes entering the trap will be killed or die shortly thereafter. Mosquitoes breed in standing water found outdoors in containers, pots, planters, gutters, tires, tree-holes, and low-laying areas regularly for best results. Traps should be placed in shaded areas out of reach of children and pets. Space traps 25 feet apart. Do not use on tables intended for serving food. For best results, we recommend the installation of a minimum of four traps per quarter-acre of property.

Trap Assembly


Trap Maintenance

Check water level weekly, fill to the bottom of the drain hole as necessary.

Replace the pesticide tab and velour strip every 10 weeks.

We recommend 4-6 traps per small lot and up to 30 traps per acre outside of inhabited buildings.

Don't worry if you don't see dead mosquitoes in the trap. The mosquitoes die within minutes of exposure to the pesticide, and many die after they've left the trap. When replacing the pesticide tab and velour strip, check the velour strip for eggs. Mosquito eggs are black, oval shaped, and about the size of poppy seeds. Not every trap may contain eggs or mosquitoes every time you check it. If you see larvae (wrigglers) moving, replace the pesticide tab. The trap is working as long as you have water in the trap, the velour strip is in place, and the pesticide tab is replaced at least every 10 weeks or sooner if live larvae (wrigglers) are seen.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

Does the trap work in the rain?

Yes! TNK is designed to work in the rain.

What if there's a drought?

TNK works as long as there's enough water inside the jar, the velour strip is in place, and the pesticide tab is up-to-date. Check water levels weekly and refill the trap to the bottom of the drain hole as necessary.

What if TNK is knocked over?

If the pesticide tab is missing, replace it. Refill TNK with water, and use a new zip tie to attach the trap to a stable object like a fence post.

What if the TNK cup or lid breaks?

TNK won't work if it's empty, so replace traps if they no longer hold water. The TNK lid is designed to create a concentrated pesticide vapor cloud, so broken lids may not function properly. Replace traps if the lid breaks.

How do I dispose of the trap and pesticide tab?

If larvae is moving, add four or five drops of dish soap to kill them. Dispose of treated water either in a sink or toilet. To dispose of the trap and pesticide tab, wrap them up in newspaper and put in trash or offer for recycling if available.




Trap-N-Kill® Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap

The Trap-N-Kill® Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap is an 18 liter black bucket fitted with a “capture chamber” on the top. The Aedes mosquitoes think it is a safe breeding ground, and are caught by the sticky glue board. The mosquitoes cannot get to the water surface because the bottom screen is made of a finer mesh than the top one -- too fine for a mosquito to get through. As they keep trying to get to the water, they tire and may need to rest. When they choose to rest on the glue surface, that will be their final resting place, so to speak.

Autocidal Gravid Trap 

No pesticides or pheromones required. Just add water and a little hay.

Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap Facts

The Trap-N-Kill® Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap is an 18 liter black bucket fitted with a “capture chamber” on the top. The capture chamber allows you to swap out the sticky board without having to pull off the whole lid. Twist the top half of the chamber and you'll have access to where the sticky board rests. The bucket itself is filled with water up to a specific depth that is controlled by a series of slots which are machined into the bucket sides. Gravid female Aedes mosquitoes are attracted to the hay-infused standing water and seek to lay their eggs on a hard surface right at the water line. They try to do that by entering the capture chamber through the top screen. They can get through that screen with ease but other critters, like squirrels or birds can't. The capture chamber, a cylinder, contains a replaceable glue board that covers the entire inside portion of the cylinder. The mosquitoes cannot get to the water surface because the bottom screen is made of a finer mesh than the top one -- too fine for a mosquito to get through. As they keep trying to get to the water, they tire and may need to rest. When they choose to rest on the glue surface, that will be their final resting place, so to speak. No pesticides or pheromones required. Just add water and some grass clippings or hay.

Trap-N-Kill® Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap



An efficient way to control mosquitoes is to find and eliminate their larval habitat A method used by organized mosquito control agencies is larviciding.  This utilizes the application of insecticides targeted at the immature mosquitoes - the larvae or pupae.  These are applied to bodies of water harboring the larvae.  However, since larvae do not usually occupy the entire body of water, larvicides are applied where the larvae are, usually the areas near the shoreline of the lake, stream or ditch.





Mosquito Habitat Modification

An efficient way to control mosquitoes is to find and eliminate their larval habitat. Eliminating large larval development sites (source reduction) such as swamps or sluggishly moving streams or ditches may require community-wide effort.  This is usually a task for your organized mosquito control program. They might impound an area of water, establish ditches or canals or control the aquatic weeds (cattails, water lettuce, etc) on a body of water.