Paradoxical Effects of Simulated Larviciding on Production of Adult Mosquitoes

View More View Less
  • Interdisciplinary Programs in Health at the Harvard School of Public Health
  • | Department of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, 665 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

We determined whether simulated mortality of larval mosquitoes in food-deprived bodies of water increases emergence of adult females as well as their size by releasing the remaining larvae from competition for food. Removal of larval Aedes aegypti from rearing containers with suboptimal amounts of food increased the number of adults that emerged. Thus, larvicidal measures do not inevitably lead to reduced numbers of mosquito vectors of disease. In food-limiting breeding sites, partially effective anti-larvae measures can be counterproductive, perhaps increasing transmission of vector-borne disease.