Nectar is the staple diet of adult mosquitoes in the wild, but its availability is inconsistent and can be affected by rainfall. In urban centers, Aedes vectors commonly use man-made containers as their major habitat; however, they can colonize any items replenished by rainfall. Garbage output has increased significantly in recent years, at a time when collection frequency is reducing. Such garbage usually includes organic components, some of which are sweet and can be fed upon by other animals or become can containers for rainwater. Despite evidence that Aedes larvae can thrive in containers comprised of organic waste material, which can be produced by rodents gnawing on fruits or vegetables, and that adults can survive on sweet waste fluids, the capacity of organic waste materials to accumulate rainwater and act as egg deposition sites has not been examined. It is also unknown for how long sweet extracts can sustain the life of adult vectors. Here, we investigated the abundance of sweet leftovers at garbage sites and the rainwater retention capacity of some organic materials through a field survey and laboratory bioassays. We also examined whether sweet waste fluids impact egg hatching success and longevity of Aedes aegypti. The results of this study indicated that sweet products with leftovers are highly prevalent in garbage. When exposed to rain, food items (BAFrc, banana fruit resembling container; and BSPrc, boiled sweet potato resembling container) and the packaging of sweet foods (SMIc, sweetened condensed milk can) retained water. When provided an opportunity to oviposit in cups containing BAF extract (BAFex), BSP extract (BSPex), and SMI extract (SMIex), eggs were deposited in all media. Egg maturation in the BAFex environment resulted in similar larval eclosion success to that resulting from embryo development in a water milieu. Adults maintained on sweet waste extracts had long lifespans, although shorter than that of their sugar solution (SUS)-fed counterparts. Taken together, these results indicated that sweet waste materials are useful to dengue mosquitoes, acting both as oviposition sites and energy sources.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.