Roof gutters on houses that have become inundated with leaf litter and cannot drain properly are an often-overlooked man-made container habitat that is suitable for mosquito larval development. In order to reduce the amount of leaf litter debris in gutters, many homeowners install debris screens, commonly referred to as "gutter guards," on their roof gutters, but no study has examined the effect of gutter guards on mosquito production. The objective of this research was to determine the extent to which different types of gutter guards affect mosquito colonization and abundance of juvenile mosquitoes in gutter habitats. Three experimental gutters, each with 1 of 3 treatments (control with no gutter guard, a metal lock-in mesh screen gutter guard, or a foam filter gutter insert), were placed at 5 field locations to monitor mosquito colonization and production over 8 wk. Pupae were collected daily, and eclosed adults were identified to species. Mosquitoes colonized and larvae developed in all gutters regardless of the presence of a guard, although those with the foam filter guards were least likely to be colonized (P < 0.001). Once colonized, the control gutters without a gutter guard had the lowest mosquito abundance (P < 0.001), and the metal lock-in gutters had the highest abundance (P < 0.001). The results suggest that if standing water exists in a gutter, gutter guards are not an effective tool for mosquito control.
Keywords: gutter guard; mosquito; roof gutter; storm water.