Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Suitability of two carbon dioxide-baited traps for mosquito surveillance in the United Kingdom

  • R.A. Hutchinson (a1), P.A. West (a1) and S.W. Lindsay (a1)

Rapidly changing environments and an increase in human movement around the globe have contributed to a rise in new and emerging diseases, many of which are arthropod borne. The threat posed to the United Kingdom by such diseases is uncertain, and there is a real need to understand the distribution, seasonality and behaviour of potential vectors in the country. At present, there is no standard method for routine mosquito surveillance in the UK. Here we compared the catching efficiency of two carbon dioxide-baited traps, the CDC light trap and the MosquitoMagnet® Pro trap, for collecting British mosquitoes. Two of each type of trap were operated at four sites in central and southern England from June to September, 2003. To determine whether trap height affected collections, three light traps were operated at 1, 2.5 and 5 m above the ground in one site in 2004. Both types of trap were efficient at catching mosquitoes, collecting 5414 mosquitoes of 16 species. MosquitoMagnet® traps caught 2.7 times more mosquitoes than CDC light traps (P<0.001) and a wider range of species (16 species vs 11) than CDC light traps. Four to six times more female Culex pipiens s.l. were collected in light traps at 5 m (P<0.001) compared with traps at lower heights. MosquitoMagnet® traps ran continuously for up to 8 weeks, whilst the battery of a CDC light trap had to be replaced every 24 hrs. Although MosquitoMagnets® collected more specimens and a greater range of mosquito species, they were considerably more expensive, prone to breakdown and incurred higher running costs than the CDC light traps. MosquitoMagnets® are useful tools for collecting mosquitoes during longitudinal surveys during the summer months, whilst CDC light traps are to be preferred for rapid assessments of the presence or absence of mosquitoes, particularly the important species Culex pipiens.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence Fax: +44 (0)191 334 1289 E-mail:
Hide All
Buckley, A., Dawson, A., Moss, S.R., Hinsley, S.A., Bellamy, P.E. & Gould, E.A. (2003) Serological evidence of West Nile virus, Usutu virus and Sindbis virus infection of birds in the UK. The Journal of General Virology 84, 28072817.
Clements, A.N. (1999) The Biology of Mosquitoes. Sensory Reception and Behaviour. 756 pp. Wallingford, UK, CABI Publishing.
Dazak, P., Cunningham, A.A. & Hyatt, A.D. (2000) Emerging infectious diseases of wildlife – threats to biodiversity and human health. Science 287, 443449.
DEFRA (2001) High level target 9 biodiversity. Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs, 8 London.
Department of Health (2004) West Nile virus: A contingency plan to protect the public's health. Report 40168.
Doody, P. (1990) Sea–level rise (coastal conservation). North Sea Report 1990. London, Marine Forum.
Eling, W., van Gemert, G.J., Akinpelu, O., Curtis, J. & Curtis, C.F. (2003) Production of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites by Anopheles plumbeus. Journal of the European Mosquito Control Association 15, 1213.
Emord, D.E. & Morris, C.D. (1982) A host-baited CDC trap. Mosquito News 42, 220224.
Gould, E.A., Higgs, S., Buckley, A. & Sergeevna Gritsun, T. (2006) Potential arbovirus emergence and implications for the United Kingdom. Emerging Infectious Diseases 12, 549555.
Lang, W.D. (1918) A map showing the known distribution in England and Wales of the Anopheline mosquitoes, with explanatory text and notes. 63 pp. London, British Museum (Natural History).
Lindsay, S.W. & Thomas, C.J. (2001) Global warming and risk of vivax malaria in Great Britain. Global Change and Human Health 2, 8084.
Lines, J.D., Curtis, C.F., Wilkes, T.J. & Njunwa, K.J. (1991) Monitoring human-biting mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) in Tanzania with light traps hung beside mosquito nets. Bulletin of Entomological Research 81, 7784.
Linton, Y.-M., Lee, A.S. & Curtis, C.F. (2005) Discovery of a third member of the Maculipennis group in SW England. European Mosquito Bulletin 19, 59.
Magnarelli, L.A. (1975) Relative abundance and parity of mosquitoes collected in dry-ice baited and unbaited CDC miniature light traps. Mosquito News 35, 350353.
Mans, N.Z., Yurgionas, S.E., Garvin, M.C., Gary, R.E., Bresky, J.D., Galaitsis, A.C. & Ohajuruka, O.A. (2004) West Nile Virus in Mosquitoes of Northern Ohio, 2001–2002. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 70, 562565.
Marshall, J.F. (1938) The British Mosquitoes. 341 pp. London, British Museum (Natural History).
Medlock, J.M., Snow, K.R. & Leach, S. (2005) Potential transmission of West Nile virus in the British Isles: an ecological review of candidate mosquito bridge vectors. Medical and Veterinary Entomology 19, 221.
Miller, T.A., Stryker, R.G., Wilkinson, R.N. & Esah, S. (1969) Notes on the use of CO2 baited CDC miniature light traps for mosquito surveillance in Thailand. Mosquito News 29, 688689.
Reiter, P., Jakob, W.L., Francy, D.B. & Mullenix, J.B. (1986) Evaluation of the CDC gravid trap for the surveillance of St. Louis encephalitis vectors in Memphis, Tennessee. Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 2, 209211.
Rogers, D.J., Randolph, S., Lindsay, S. & Thomas, C. (2001) Vector-borne diseases and climate change. Health effects of climate change in the UK. pp. 85119in Maynard, R.L. (Ed.) London, Department of Health.
Snow, K.R., Rees, A.T. & Bulbeck, S.J. (1998) A provisional atlas of the mosquitoes of Britain. London, University of East London Press.
Taverne, J. (2001) Magnetic Mosquitoes on the net. Trends in Parasitology 17, 601602.
Takken, W., Dekker, T. & Wijnholds, Y.G. (1997) Odor-mediated flight behavior of Anopheles gambiae Giles sensu stricto and An. stephensi Liston in response to CO2, acetone, and 1-octen-2-ol (Diptera: Culicidae). Journal of Insect Behavior 10, 395407.
Veterinary Laboratories Agency (2006) Surveillance report wildlife. Quarterly Report 8, 13.
Woolhouse, M.E.J. (2002) Population biology of emerging and re-emerging pathogens. Trends in Microbiology 10, S37.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Bulletin of Entomological Research
  • ISSN: 0007-4853
  • EISSN: 1475-2670
  • URL: /core/journals/bulletin-of-entomological-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed