Source reduction with a purpose: Mosquito ecology and community perspectives offer insights for improving household mosquito management in coastal Kenya

Jenna E. Forsyth, Francis M. Mutuku, Lydiah Kibe, Luti Mwashee, Joyce Bongo, Chika Egemba, Nicole M. Ardoin, A. Desiree LaBeaud

Author summary

Because Ae.aegypti mosquitoes bite during the day, bednets are not protective. Moreover, Ae.aegypti mosquitoes are ‘anthropophilic container breeders’ primarily breeding in containers outside people’s homes. Therefore, vector control efforts that reduce the abundance of containers and other potential mosquito breeding habitats should be prioritized. This research aimed to identify productive Ae.aegypti mosquito breeding habitats in coastal Kenya and to understand household mosquito management behaviors and their behavioral determinants. We found that more than half of all immature mosquitoes were in containers with no intended purpose that had unintentionally filled with rainwater. Residents had limited awareness of day-time biting, container-breeding, Aedes mosquitoes. Consequently, households prioritized sleeping under bednets as a primary protection against mosquito-borne disease. Our findings inform the design of vector control efforts; encouraging community trash clean-up events and targeting the reduction or re-use of unused containers.