The relationship between weather parameters and female mosquito populations/distribution were determined in Makurdi from four localities over a 12-month period. Data on temperature, rainfall and relative humidity were obtained using the expertise of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency at the Tactical Air Command headquarters in Makurdi. Adult female mosquitoes (4,320), comprising anophelines and culicines were caught indoors and identified using standard keys and procedures. 1,040 (24.1%) were Anopheles gambiae sl; 641 (14.8%) were Aonpheles funestus; 2,418 (56.0%) were Culex quinquefasciatus while 221(5.1%) were ‘unidentified’ Anopheles species. Mean atmospheric temperature was high throughout the study period with peaks in February and March, before the steady rains in April. Mean temperature in the hottest period (February to April) ranged from 35.20C - 38.20C. Relative humidity was proportional to rainfall and ranged from 44% - 86%. Wet seasons had more mosquito vectors than the dry season. Pearsons’s correlation showed a significant negative relationship (P < 0.05) between temperature and the abundance and distribution of mosquitoes for all the other species except for Anopheles funestus (P > 0.05). Similarly, there were significant positive correlations (P < 0.05) between both rainfall and relative humidity, and the abundance of the other mosquito species in the study area excluding Anopheles funestus (P > 0.05). Regression showed strong linear relationships (R2 = 0.557, 0.549, and 0.637 for temperature, rainfall and humidity respectively) between weather parameters and mosquito population. This work provides baseline data on mosquito vector relationship with weather factors required for vector population control interventions in Makurdi.
Humidity, Rainfall, Temperature, Female Mosquitoes, Makurdi, Nigeria
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