BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES: Olfactory cues play an important role in the attraction of major disease vectors towards their host. Hence we intend to investigate the contribution of selected parts of the human host on the behavioural biting preference of Culex quinquefasciatus. METHODS: Two volunteers were trained to collect host seeking female mosquitoes landing to feed on different parts of the lower limbs. The Cx. quinquefasciatus were collected in paper cups with the aid of a flash-light and aspirator. Each paper cup was labeled to represent the selected parts where the mosquitoes were collected. RESULTS: The composition of Cx. quinquefasciatus from the total mosquitoes collected showed that Cx. quinquefasciatus was more predominant (90%) over other species present. The average minimum and maximum atmospheric temperature recorded during the night catches were 27 and 29.5 degrees C while the average relative humidity range was 78-81.6%. The behavioural biting preference results obtained showed that the density of Cx. quinquefasciatus mosquitoes preferring the foot region (298) was significantly higher (p > 0.05) when compared with other different parts of the human host such as the ankle, calf and the thigh. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSION: The study indicates that the foot region of the human host has a stronger influence in orientating mosquitoes towards the human host. Hence, the exploitation of the characteristic human odour will add to the existing vector control strategies.
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