A lethal ovitrap is a device used to trap and contain insect eggs, halting the insect's life cycle in the process. The original use of ovitraps was to monitor the spread and density of Aedes and other container breeding mosquito populations. Since its conception, researchers found that adding lethal substances to the ovitraps could control the populations of these targeted species. These traps are called Lethal Ovitraps. They primarily target Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes which are the main vectors of dengue fever, west Nile virus, yellow fever, and chikungunya.
Lethal Ovitraps can either contain substances that prevent eggs inside the trap from hatching (Larvicidal Ovitraps), or substances that kill the adult mosquito when she enters, along with any eggs inside (Adulticidal Ovitraps). While Larvicidal Ovitraps only provide population control, Adulticidal Ovitraps also shorten the life of potentially disease carrying mosquitoes so that it is harder for them to pass along these diseases.
Lethal Ovitraps use less amounts of harmful chemicals than pesticide spraying or “fogging”. They provide isolated spaces where mosquitoes, not humans and other wildlife, will find these pesticides, instead of broadcasting them into the environment. Harsher pesticides with less mosquito resistance can be used in these traps because the spaces are so isolated. This allows for better mosquito control with less pesticide use.