Rainfall and temperature affect the abundance of two mosquito species linked to West Nile Virus in storm catch basins in suburban Chicago, two University of Illinois researchers report.
Marilyn O'Hara Ruiz, a professor of pathobiology, led the study with graduate student Allison Gardner.
The study was conducted using mosquito larvae collected from catch basins in Alsip, a southwest suburb. The researchers examined weather factors that influenced the levels of mosquito larvae in the basins. They found that low rainfall and high temperatures are associated with high numbers of larvae.
The study appears in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Checking storm water catch basins for mosquito larvae of the type that carries West Nile virus is particularly important in tracking the disease in populated areas, Ruiz said.
''Catch basins are important breeding sites for the vector of West Nile Virus – the Culex mosquitoes,'' Ruiz said.