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CMMCP Arbovirus Surveillance Program: updated 25-Jul-16


Please click here for a map of our mosquito trap sites

Current and historical surveillance summaries:



The driving force behind mosquito control is the surveillance of mosquito larvae and adults. Data collected determines the control technique to be employed to reduce or eliminate mosquito populations. In this section we will discuss surveillance guidelines for adult mosquito vector control.


 CDC Miniature Light Trap


The goal of adult mosquito surveillance is:

  • to use data on mosquito populations and virus infections to assess the threat of human disease potential,
  • to identify the geographic risk areas,
  • to assess the need for, and timing of, intervention controls,
  • to monitor the effectiveness and improve prevention and control measures, and
  • to develop a better understanding of transmission cycles and potential vector species.

(as stated in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines: "Epidemic/Epizootic West Nile Virus in the United States: Revised Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention and Control" - April 2001. Please click here for a link to this document - .pdf 328k)


 Reiter-Cummings Gravid Trap

Culex mosquitoes have been implicated as the primary enzootic vector of West Nile Virus (WNV). CMMCP uses the Reiter-Cummings modified gravid traps to collect adult Culex mosquitoes for viral testing. This trap type is preferred for this purpose for the following reasons:

  • Selection of the specific mosquito species implicated as vectors of WNV
  • Samples that portion of the mosquito population most likely to have been exposed to WNV*
  • Is cost effective, allowing multiple traps to be placed in a given area

*("Gravid" means pregnant or egg-bearing - the mosquitoes attracted to this trap are female and have already taken at least one bloodmeal and are ready to lay eggs, therefore potentially exposed to WNV and other mosquito-borne pathogens)

The ABC light traps selects for mosquito species that the gravid trap may not, and will be used in situations where the collection of these mosquitoes is deemed necessary, i.e. to sample the population density of human-biting mosquito species to help determine risk to the general public in that area. These collections are not as good for viral resting due to the fact the mosquitoes sampled may not have taken a bloodmeal yet, but this is important data when WNV is suspected or confirmed in other mosquito species to allow specific control procedures to be considered.

BG-Sentinel® trap


The CMMCP Surveillance Team places traps for mosquito collections in sites that are the natural habitat for the species sought, i.e. permanent aquatic habitats, etc. In the past, we have randomly selected such sites within a town to discover which will consistently produce the largest collections of mosquito adults. From the data collected a selection of permanent trap sites have been chosen in each member city & town. The permanent trap sites will allow for the creation of a data baseline that will allow temporal and spatial analysis of changes in mosquito population sizes and densities. Additional traps will be placed at random and/or specific locations within a given area. The locations will be chosen by the following criteria:

  • Preferred habitat of the mosquito species of interest,
  • WNV activity as indicated by avian mortality in the current or pervious year,
  • Requests from state or municipal public health and/or other government officials, and
  • To test the validity of various hypotheses about arboviral transmission.

These traps are mobile and easily transported to areas of suspected and confirmed WNV activity. Weekly reports of the surveillance program are complied and given to the Executive Director and posted on the CMMCP website.



Additional factors to consider when planning the placement and operation of mosquito traps:

  • Current weather conditions,
  • Mass. DPH collections protocols, (collection limits, etc.)
  • Topography,
  • Human density, and
  • Additional factors to be considered by state & local officials

Standardized trapping will commence about mid-May and will run throughout the mosquito season, until late September or early October, depending on current weather conditions and the collection protocols set up by Mass. DPH. CMMCP will perform standardized trapping in all member cities and towns this year, and will employ additional "hot zone" trapping in member cities and towns as needed subject to current data collected by various sources.

All data collected is entered into a computer database to be referenced as needed. CMMCP keeps current on all new trends in mosquito control and surveillance through a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations.


Methods and procedures for the control of mosquito adults are included in this guide under the “Adulticide Procedures and Guidelines” section.

Resting boxes

CMMCP keeps current on all new trends in mosquito control and surveillance through a comprehensive network of individuals and organizations.

  • For more information, please call our office at (508) 393-3055 and ask for Curtis Best, Staff Entomologist, or contact him by e-mail at