Evaluation of gravid traps for the collection of Culex quinquefasciatus, a vector of lymphatic filariasis in Tanzania

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Jan;107(1):15-22. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trs001. Epub 2012 Oct 18.


Background: Although several studies have suggested that gravid traps might be useful for collection of mosquitoes, particularly Culex quinquefasciatus, to monitor transmission of the nematode Wuchereria bancrofti (xenomonitoring), there has not been a study to see which of the currently available gravid traps is most effective in endemic areas. The present study evaluated the comparative efficacy for collection of Cx quinquefasciatus of four commercially available gravid traps: the CDC, Frommer Updraft, Reiter-Cummings and Harris County traps.

Method: Trap evaluations were conducted in two locations in Tanzania, Ifakara and Tanga. Mosquitoes collected were identified to species, sex, and gonotrophic status.

Results: In both locations, the CDC gravid trap collected the highest number of mosquitoes, the highest number of Cx quinquefasciatus, and the highest proportion of gravid mosquitoes. Although it damaged the highest proportion of mosquitoes as they passed through the trap fan, the CDC gravid trap also contained the highest number of living mosquitoes, when the traps were collected in the morning. The CDC gravid traps collected significantly more phlebotomine sandflies than the other traps and in Tanga, where they were more frequent, the highest number of biting midges.

Conclusion: The effectiveness of all four gravid traps should encourage the sampling of Cx quinquefasciatus where it is an important disease vector or nuisance mosquito. The unexpected collection of phlebotomine sandflies and biting midges indicates that gravid traps might usefully collect other insects, including those of medical importance.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culex*
  • Mosquito Control / instrumentation*
  • Mosquito Control / methods
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Plant Extracts
  • Poaceae
  • Tanzania


  • Organic Chemicals
  • Plant Extracts