Britain, storage of water in garden water butts is increasing,
potentially expanding mosquito larval habitats and influencing
population dynamics and mosquito-human contact. The authors show that the
community composition, abundance and phenology of mosquitoes breeding in
experimental water butt containers were influenced by urbanisation.
Mosquitoes in urban containers were present in
significantly higher densities than those in
rural containers. Urban containers were dominated by Culex pipiens (a potential vector of West Nile Virus [WNV]) and Anopheles plumbeus (a human-biting potential WNV and malaria vector). Among other
factors, this was associated with an urban heat island effect which
raised temperatures by around 1°C.
Further increases in domestic water storage in combination with climate change will likely alter mosquito
population dynamics in the UK.