Entomology, Department of


First Advisor

Dr. Troy Anderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Weissling

Third Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth VanWormer

Date of this Version

Spring 2-22-2020


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Entomology, Under the Supervision of Professor Troy Anderson. Lincoln, Nebraska: January, 2020

Copyright © 2022 William T. Noundou


In 2018, West Nile virus (WNV) was identified as the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. In response to this very serious problem, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Public Health Department (LLCHD) reinforced their mosquito surveillance program, which constitutes one of the best available tools to fight against this serious threat to human health. The objectives of this study were to 1) expand knowledge of the activity and relative abundance of mosquito communities in understudied areas and 2) evaluate differences in mosquito communities by urban and rural location, especially focusing on known vector species. A total of 6 sites were selected for surveillance one night each week during a 14-week period from June to September, 2019. There were 9,445 mosquitoes collected using CO2-baited light traps and BG sentinel traps during the study. The three most abundant species were Aedes vexans (7,432), Culex tarsalis (1,387) and Culex salinarius (416). Other species collected included Cx. erraticus, Cx. pipiens, and Cx. Restuans. The diversity of Culex species was not consistent at all sites, but relative species abundance and richness was observed at all the sites. The landscape, weather conditions, human activities, mosquito management practices, and domestic animal presence in these areas during the study could have possibly affected the diversity and abundance of the mosquito populations. The surveillance of mosquito populations is essential for the identification and management of possible vectors and potential transmission of arboviruses. Future studies should combine mosquito surveillance and mosquitocide efficacy testing on the field populations for the development of improved control strategies.

Advisor: Troy D. Anderson