Background: Entomological monitoring is important for public health because it provides data on the distribution, abundance and host-seeking behaviour of disease vectors. Various methods for sampling mosquitoes exist, most of which are biased towards, or specifically target, certain portions of a mosquito population. This study assessed the Suna trap, an odour-baited trap for sampling host-seeking mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors. Methods: Two separate field experiments were conducted in villages in southern Malawi. The efficiency of the Suna trap in sampling mosquitoes was compared to that of the human landing catch (HLC) indoors and outdoors and the Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention Light Trap (CDC-LT) indoors. Potential competition between two Suna traps during simultaneous use of the traps indoors and outdoors was assessed by comparing mosquito catch sizes across three treatments: one trap indoors only; one trap outdoors only; and one trap indoors and one trap outdoors used simultaneously at the same house. Results: The efficiency of the Suna trap in sampling female anophelines was similar to that of HLC indoors (P = 0.271) and HLC outdoors (P = 0.125), but lower than that of CDC-LT indoors (P = 0.001). Anopheline catch sizes in the Suna trap used alone indoors were similar to indoor Suna trap catch sizes when another Suna trap was simultaneously present outdoors (P = 0.891). Similarly, catch sizes of female anophelines with the Suna trap outdoors were similar to those that were caught outdoors when another Suna trap was simultaneously present indoors (P = 0.731). Conclusions: The efficiency of the Suna trap in sampling mosquitoes was equivalent to that of the HLC. Whereas the CDC-LT was more efficient in collecting female anophelines indoors, the use of this trap outdoors is limited given the requirement of setting it next to an occupied bed net. As demonstrated in this research, outdoor collections are also essential because they provide data on the relative contribution of outdoor biting to malaria transmission. Therefore, the Suna trap could serve as an alternative to the HLC and the CDC-LT, because it does not require the use of humans as natural baits, allows standardised sampling conditions across sampling points, and can be used outdoors. Furthermore, using two Suna traps simultaneously indoors and outdoors does not interfere with the sampling efficiency of either trap, which would save a considerable amount of time, energy, and resources compared to setting the traps indoors and then outdoors in two consecutive nights.
- Simultaneous use
- Suna trap