Submitted to: Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2014
Publication Date: 3/1/2015
Citation: Bernier, U.R., Kline, D.L., Allan, S.A., Barnard, D.R. 2015. Laboratory studies of Aedes aegypti (L.) attraction to ketones, sulfides and primary chloroalkanes tested alone and in combination with l-lactic acid. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. 31(1):63-70.
Interpretive Summary: Scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology and the University of Florida have studied chemicals that can be used to attract mosquitoes. These blends were formulated based on research investigating human odors and why people differ in their attraction of mosquitoes. The blends can be used in mosquito traps for more efficient collection of mosquitoes. A second discovery was made during these experiments. Some chemicals that people produce hide us from mosquitoes. Future studies of these types of chemicals may lead to new forms of protection from mosquito bites. This work will ultimately aid mosquito control districts with surveillance of mosquitoes that are a nuisance and spread disease to humans, and will benefit consumers by providing alternative means of protection from mosquitoes.
Technical Abstract: The attraction of female Aedes aegypti to single compounds and binary compositions comprised of L-lactic acid and an additional saturated compound from a set of ketones, sulfides, and chloroalkanes was studied using a triple-cage dual-port olfactometer. These chemical classes were studied because of their structural relation to acetone, dimethyl disulfide, and dichloromethane, which have all been reported to synergize attraction to L-lactic acid. Human odors, carbon dioxide, and the binary mixture of L-lactic acid and CO2 served as controls for comparison of attraction responses produced by the binary mixtures. All tested mixtures that contained chloroalkanes attracted mosquitoes at synergistic levels, as did L-lactic acid and CO2. Synergism was less frequent in mixtures of L-lactic acid with sulfides and ketones; in the case of ketones, synergistic attraction was observed only for L-lactic acid combined with acetone or butanone. Suppression or inhibition of attraction response was observed for combinations that contained ketones of C7-C12 molecular chain length (optimum in the C8-C10 range). This inhibition effect is similar to that observed previously for specific ranges of carboxylic acids, aldehydes, and alcohols.