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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Steve Lindsay

Njie, M., Dilger, E., Lindsay, S.W. & Kirby, M.J. (2009). Importance of eaves to house entry by Anopheline, but not Culicine, mosquitoes. Journal of Medical Entomology 46(3): 505-510.

Author(s) from Durham


Screening homes is an effective way of reducing house entry by mosquitoes. Here, we assess how important blocking the eaves is for reducing house entry by anopheline and culicine mosquitoes for houses that have screened doors and no windows. Twelve houses, with two screened doors and no windows, in which a single adult male slept, were included in a simple crossover design. In the first period, six houses were randomly selected and had the eaves blocked using a mixture of rubble and mortar; the other six were left with open eaves. Mosquitoes were sampled using CDC light traps from each house twice a week for 4 wk. Mosquito control activities and the number and type of domestic animals within the compound was recorded on each sampling occasion. Before beginning the second sampling period, homes with blocked eaves had them opened, and those with open eaves had them closed. Mosquitoes were then sampled from each house for a further 4 wk. When houses had their eaves closed, a three-fold reduction in Anopheles gambiae s.l. Giles caught indoors was observed. However, there was no reduction in total culicine numbers observed. This study demonstrates that the eaves are the major route by which An. gambiae enters houses. By contrast, culicine mosquitoes enter largely through doors and windows. Sealing the eave gap is an important method for reducing malaria transmission in homes where doors and windows are screened.