Ecological links between water storage behaviors and Aedes aegypti production: implications for dengue vector control in variable climates

Ecohealth. 2010 Aug;7(1):78-90. doi: 10.1007/s10393-010-0301-6. Epub 2010 Apr 1.


Understanding linkages between household behavior and Aedes aegypti (L.) larval ecology is essential for community-based dengue mitigation. Here we associate water storage behaviors with the rate of A. aegypti pupal production in three dengue-endemic Colombian cities with different mean temperatures. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews and pupal counts were conducted over a 7-15-day period in 235 households containing a water storage vessel infested with larvae. Emptying vessels more often than every 7 days strongly reduced pupal production in all three cities. Emptying every 7-15 days reduced production by a similar magnitude as emptying <7 days in Armenia (21.9 degrees C), has a threefold smaller reduction as compared to <7 days in Bucaramanga (23.9 degrees C), and did not reduce production in Barranquilla (29.0 degrees C). Lidding vessels reduced mosquito production and was most feasible in Barranquilla because of container structure. Vessel emptying strongly correlated with usage in Barranquilla, where many households stored water in case of interruptions in piped service rather than for regular use. In the cooler cities, >90% of households regularly used stored water for washing clothes, generating a weaker correlation between emptying and usage. Emptying was less frequent in the households surveyed in the dry season in all three cities. These results show that A. aegypti production and human behaviors are coupled in a temperature-dependent manner. In addition to biological effects on aquatic stages, climate change may impact A. aegypti production through human behavioral adaptations. Vector control programs should account for geographic variation in temperature and water usage behaviors in designing targeted interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / growth & development*
  • Animals
  • Colombia
  • Dengue* / prevention & control
  • Dengue* / transmission
  • Ecology
  • Family Characteristics
  • Household Articles
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / growth & development*
  • Male
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Pupa
  • Seasons
  • Temperature
  • Water Supply
  • Water*


  • Water