Socioeconomic and human behavioral factors associated with Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) immature habitat in Tucson, AZ

Kathleen R. Walker, Daniel Williamson, Yves Carrière, Pablo A. Reyes-Castro, Steven Haenchen, Mary H. Hayden, Eileen Jeffrey Gutierrez, Kacey C. Ernst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aedes aegypti (L.; Diptera: Culicidae) has been established in the southwestern United States for several decades, but relationships between humans and mosquitoes in this arid region are not well-characterized. In August 2012, the outdoor premises of 355 houses within 20 neighborhoods in Tucson, Arizona were surveyed for containers that could provide larval habitat for Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. At the same time, a knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) questionnaire was administered to a resident of each house surveyed for immature mosquitoes. The KAP questionnaire assessed respondents' knowledge and concerns about vector-borne illnesses as well as practices they used to avoid mosquitoes. Of the houses surveyed, 91% had at least one container present, and 64% had at least one container with standing water. On average, each house had 2.2 containers with water at the time of the survey. The overall House Index (proportion of premises surveyed with at least one container with Ae. aegypti immatures present) was 13%. Based on questionnaire responses, there was a significant positive association between the number of residents in the home and the odds of finding Ae. aegypti positive containers on the premises, while household income showed a significant negative association. The reported frequency of checking for standing water was also significantly associated with the odds of finding immatures, although the nature of this association was ambiguous. Flower pots were the principal type of container with Ae. aegypti larvae. These findings show that larval habitat is widely available even in an arid environment and city with good housing and sanitation infrastructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-963
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Arbovirus
  • Larval habitat
  • Southwestern United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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