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Diurnal test periods influence behavioral responses of Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) to repellents

Choomsang, Ilada, Nararak, Jirod, Bangs, Michael J., Chareonviriyaphap, Theeraphap
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2018 v.21 no.3 pp. 971-983
Aedes aegypti, attractants, basil, deet, deltamethrin, environmental factors, females, repellents, toxins
There is a broad understanding of the influence of environmental factors on various aspects of normal mosquito behavior. How these external factors influence responses to repellent compounds is far less clear. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of different daytime periods combining the normal circadian activity of a laboratory colony of Aedes aegypti (L.) with behavioral responses of mosquitoes exposed to three different compounds possessing repellent properties. Using an excito-repellency test chamber with different test designs (contact irritancy + repellency and noncontact repellency), female mosquitoes were exposed to each chemical or matching blank control during four different 3-h time intervals beginning 0600 to 1800 h. Mosquitoes showed more significant avoidance responses (escape movement away from the chemical) when exposed to either DEET or hairy basil during the afternoon periods. With deltamethrin, there was no significant difference in repellent escape movement during any period of testing. Escape activity with deltamethrin was significantly greater during all diurnal periods in contact tests compared to DEET and hairy basil. From this study, it was shown that time of diurnal testing can significantly influence behavioral responses of Ae. aegypti exposed to chemical-based repellents. Therefore, the assessment of chemicals (toxins, repellents, attractants) and must carefully consider time-of-test as a potential confounding factor during evaluation and comparisons.