Submitted to: American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2007
Publication Date: 9/1/2007
Citation: Bernier, U.R., Kline, D.L., Allan, S.A., Barnard, D.R. 2007. Laboratory comparison of aedes aegypti (l.) attraction to human odors and to synthetic human odor compounds and blends. American Mosquito Control Association. Vol 23(3) 288-293.
Interpretive Summary: Surveillance traps are used by health professionals and mosquito control personnel to assess the nuisance and disease risk in mosquito-infested areas. The commercial traps that are available currently are limited by their ability to attract mosquitoes efficiently, cost, and relative cumbersome size which limits deployment. A way to overcome these limitations is to develop inexpensive highly potent lures based on chemicals that humans and animals produce. These lures, developed by ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology, in Gainesville, FL are designed to be used in these traps to attract efficiently mosquito species that prefer to feed on humans. This work compares some of the newly developed lures against older, well known attractants, and demonstrates their efficacy. The most potent blend is compared against human odors from volunteers as a first step to determine its potential use as a means of attracting mosquitoes in an indoor setting.
Technical Abstract: Mosquito traps use chemical lures as a means to enhance the ability of the trap to collect mosquitoes. The challenge is to develop a blend of chemicals that yields high attractancy through approximating odors released in human emanations. This blend needs to be safe for use in the environment, desirable from an economic standpoint, and transportable to the field for use in surveillance traps. In this report, we compare the attraction of mosquitoes to various chemicals, chemical blends, and humans. Non-competitive (single treatment) bioassays indicated that some blends were as attractive or more attractive to Aedes aegypti (L.) than were human odors. Competitive bioassays (comparison of two treatments) were conducted where single compounds were compared to binary blends, binary blends compared to a trinary blend of L-lactic acid, acetone and dimethyl disulfide, and this trinary blend was compared to human odors from three volunteers, spanning a range of attractancy. The results indicate that the trinary blend is more attractive than binary blends, and binary blends are more attractive than single compounds. However, human odors from two of three volunteers were more attractive than the trinary blend and there was no statistical difference in the attraction level of a third volunteer and this blend. Therefore, further modifications to blends will be needed to better compete against human odors.