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Title: What is driving Aedes vigilax peaks in the Karama weekly mosquito trap in Darwin: Tides or rainfall?
Authors: Jacups SP
Carter JM
Whelan PI
Series/Report no.: Mosquito Bites
Vol. 5, No. 2
Publisher: Mosquito Control Association of Australia Inc
Abstract: The northern salt marsh mosquito Aedes vigilax (Skuse) is an established vector for Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses and is also an aggressive biter and an appreciable pest species in the NT. Many of Darwin’s northern suburbs are adjacent to the coastal wetland of Leanyer swamp, which has an extensive breeding habitat for Ae. vigilax. Medical Entomology (ME) of the NT Department of Health conducts adult mosquito surveillance and larval mosquito control for Ae. vigilax in this wetland. One trap located near the residential suburb of Karama consistently reports some of the highest numbers of Ae. vigilax of the 7 local swamp trap locations, and ME wish to clarify why it should indicate the highest numbers and what environmental variable triggers these peaks. This trap site is important as it is close to the residential area, and the results are used to trigger public warnings of mosquito pest or potential disease risks. This paper seeks to identify the most important environmental variables associated with peaks of ≥ 500 Ae. vigilax/trap/night, to better indicate the reasons for the peaks and the section of the swamp that is the source of these peaks, so that this information can enable early control intervention, timely media warnings, and reduce public pest problems and disease risks. The results of the analysis using models indicated that calendar months Sept -Nov had significantly more peaks than January, and were more associated with high monthly tides coinciding with rain in these months. The Karama trap site is relatively close to the flood plains and wet lands associated with the Holmes Jungle section of the wetland, and the large tidal influenced swamps to the east outside the 5 km control zone. Hence larval control should be implemented with increased emphasis in rain flooded tidal influenced areas of the Holmes Jungle section of Leanyer swamp after high tides with rain events coinciding during the build-up months between September and November each year. This study indicates applying statistical methods to existing control programs can enable insights into solutions without the need for additional field experiments. This method may have applications for other mosquito control programs in other areas.
Publication Date: 2011-01
ISSN: 1833-7759
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:(b) NT General Collection

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