Human and environmental factors affecting aedes aegypti distribution in an arid urban environment

Kathleen R. Walker, Teresa K. Joy, Christa Ellers-Kirk, Frank B. Ramberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Aedes aegypti has reappeared in urban communities in the southwestern USA in the 1990s after a 40-year absence. In 2003 and 2004, a systematic survey was conducted throughout metropolitan Tucson, AZ, to identify human and environmental factors associated with Ae. aegypti distribution within an arid urban area. Aedes aegypti presence and abundance were measured monthly using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enhanced oviposition traps at sampling sites established in a grid at 3-to 4-km intervals across the city. Sampling occurred in the summer rainy season (July through September), the peak of mosquito activity in the region. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to determine relationships between mosquito density and factors that could influence mosquito distribution. House age was the only factor that showed a consistent significant association with Ae. aegypti abundance in both years: older houses had more mosquito eggs. This is the 1st study of Ae. aegypti distribution at a local level to identify house age as an explanatory factor independent of other human demographic factors. Further research into the reasons why mosquitoes were more abundant around older homes may help inform and refine future vector surveillance and control efforts in the event of a dengue outbreak in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-141
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Mosquito Control Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Aedes aegypti
  • house age
  • mosquito ecology
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Insect Science


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