Applied Sciences > Medicine > N-004

Research Title Laboratory Evaluation of Water Bug, Diplonychus rusticus (Hemiptera: Belostomatidae) for the Control of Dengue Mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae)
Research Personnel Leader:
Dr. Pio A. Javier

Research Duration Start:
1 May 2012
30 April 2015
Research Location Los Baños
Research Description This research is envisioned to verify the effectiveness of water bug (Diplonychus rusticus) as predator of dengue mosquito wrigglers in the laboratory. If found effective, the predator will be mass reared in the laboratory and release strategies in the field will be developed to regulate mosquito population at very low level. The strategy is to attract female dengue mosquito to lay eggs on used tyres (with water and oviposition attractant) starting at the onset of dry season (less water source for oviposition), then release the first instar water bug to feed on the wrigglers. The research is environment friendly since it will not use synthetic insecticides, the conventional control method employed against dengue mosquito. In India, a species of giant water bug (Diplonychus indicus) was able to reduce percent pupation by as high as 95-98%. Preliminary laboratory evaluations showed that D. rusticus is a very voracious feeder of dengue mosquito larvae. Utilization of the predator is expected to contribute in significantly reducing the population of dengue mosquito (and other species of mosquitoes), thereby reducing the dengue virus infection.
Research Objectives Preliminary observations indicated that the second nymphal instar of water bug is a highly voracious predator that can consume about 20 fourth instar wrigglers of dengue mosquito a day. This new study is envisioned to document the voracity of the predator on different larval instar of dengue mosquito wrigglers, mass produce the predator in the laboratory and develop release strategies to efficiently reduce the population of wrigglers in the field. Consequently, it is hoped that the project could significantly contribute in reducing dengue infection throughout the Philippines. The following are the specific objectives of the project: (1) To study the biology and behavior of water bug, Diplonychus rusticus, (2) To establish the functional response of the different stages of water bug on the different larval instars of A. aegypti, (3) To develop efficient mass rearing technique for water bug, (4) To develop release strategies for efficient control of dengue mosquito, and (5) To evaluate the effectiveness of the water bug in dengue hot spot areas in Quezon City.
Research Beneficiary(ies) Filipinos living in dengue infection-prone areas
Research Accoplishments Mass rearing of A.aegypti in the laboratory. Determine functional response of different stages of D. rusticus on different stages of A. aegypti. Study the biology and behavior of D. rusticus. Assessed predatory potential of D. rusticus on different larval instar of A. aegypti and developed rearing technique for D. rusticus
Total Research Cost
Research Agencies Funding:
UP Los Baños

Research Budget Breakdown Year:
Year Funded:
Total Cost
Date Released
Amount Released

Code N-004
KRA Code Poverty Reduction and Empowerment of the Poor
Priority Thrust DOST
Pressing national problems

Sector Applied Sciences
Actual Sector Anti-dengue
Related sectors Healthcare, Ecology
Entry revision: January 2021