Microclimate and human factors in the divergent ecology of aedes aegypti along the Arizona, U.S./Sonora, MX border

Mary H. Hayden, Christopher K. Uejio, Kathleen Walker, Frank Ramberg, Rafael Moreno, Cecilia Rosales, Mercedes Gameros, Linda O. Mearns, Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez, Craig R. Janes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


This study examined the association of human and environmental factors with the presence of Aedes aegypti, the vector for dengue fever and yellow fever viruses, in a desert region in the southwest United States and northwest Mexico. Sixty-eight sites were longitudinally surveyed along the United States-Mexico border in Tucson, AZ, Nogales, AZ, and Nogales, Sonora during a 3-year period. Aedes aegypti presence or absence at each site was measured three times per year using standard oviposition traps. Maximum and minimum temperature and relative humidity were measured hourly at each site. Field inventories were conducted to measure human housing factors potentially affecting mosquito presence, such as the use of air-conditioning and evaporative coolers, outdoor vegetation cover, and access to piped water. The results showed that Ae. aegypti presence was highly variable across space and time. Aedes aegypti presence was positively associated with highly vegetated areas. Other significant variables included microclimatic differences and access to piped water. This study demonstrates the importance of microclimate and human factors in predicting Ae. aegypti distribution in an arid environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Aedes aegypti
  • U.S.-Mexico border
  • dengue fever
  • human ecology
  • microclimate
  • vegetation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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