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Mosquito Rearing Techniques

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TITLE:  Mosquito Rearing Techniques




1.0       PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to detail the methods used in rearing Aedes aegypti.



  • 2.1        Cotton (nonabsorbent)
  • 2.2        Enamel pans (9" x 14" x 2") or one-gallon wide-mouth jars
  • 2.3        One-gallon oyster cartons
  • 2.4        One-half pint plastic dishes or styrofoam cups
  • 2.5        Nylon screen (or bobbinet cloth)
  • 2.6        Pasteur pipettes
  • 2.7        Pipettes for collecting pupae
  • 2.8        Plexiglass spoons for feeding mosquito larvae
  • 2.9        60 mm x 15 mm petri dishes
  • 2.10      Food for mosquito larvae (all by weight)
  • 2.10.1   1 part rat chow - Wayne's Lab-Blox (crushed/blended and sifted through a 40-mesh screen)
  • 2.10.2   1 part brewer's yeast
  • 2.10.3   1 part lactalbumin   

3.0       PROCEDURE


Amount of food(mg/container)


0 (Wednesday)  100 Add strips of paper or cotton containing eggs to a pan of deionized water (200-300 ml)
1 (Thursday)  50 Count 200 larvae into a petri dish and use this dish of larvae as a reference for estimating 200 larvae for each of the remaining petri dishes.  Then transfer the larvae from each petri dish to a container with 900 ml deionized water.  (Note: rinse petri dish thoroughly to ensure transfer of all larvae. 
2 (Friday) 100   
3 (Saturday) 300   
4 (Sunday) 400   
5 (Monday) 500   
6 (Tuesday) No Food Pick pupae (few) 
7 (Wednesday) No Food Pick pupae (about 2/3 will have pupated) 
8 (Thursday)  No Food Pick pupae (few) 
9 (Friday) No Food Pick pupae (few).  Discard any remaining larvae 

If the water becomes "cloudy" or if "scumming" occurs, the larvae will usually die.   This usually results from over-feeding of the larvae or from not having enough larvae in the container.



  • 4.1        A small (about one-half pint size) plastic dish or styrofoam cup is attached to the inside of a one-gallon oyster carton.  
  • 4.2        The dish/cup is lined with a strip of paper towel and approximately 800 pupae (female and male combined) are added. 
  • 4.3        The center part of the lid is removed and replaced with nylon screening.   The lid is also taped to the carton as a precautionary measure.   Adults emerge within 2 days. 
  • 4.4        As soon as possible after all of the adults have emerged, the water is aspirated from the dish/cup by making a small hole in the nylon screening and inserting a pipette for the aspiration.  
  • 4.5        Cotton is used to plug the hole in the screen.  The mosquitoes are allowed to feed on sugar cubes and water contained in cotton which are placed on the nylon screen. 
  • 4.6        Three to five (preferably 4) days later, the mosquitoes are given a "normal" blood meal. 
  • 4.7        On the following day, cotton that is saturated with deionized water and wrung out is placed on top of the nylon screen, and the females will lay eggs on the cotton within 48 hours.  
  • 4.8        Two to three days later, the cotton is removed and allowed to dry slowly.   These eggs may be stored in a cool, dry place for several months.



  • 5.1        The temperature in the room (specifically, near the cartons of infected mosquitoes) should be maintained at approximately 80 ± 9°F (27 ± 5°C) and the humidity should be maintained at approximately 80 ± 15% (R.H.).
  • 5.2        A daily record of the temperature and humidity will be recorded on the Temperature/Humidity log and will be kept on file.