Pest management is looking for green and cost-effective innovative solutions to control tiger mosquitoes and other pests. By using biomimetic principles and biocompatible/biodegradable biopolymers, it could be possible to develop a new approach based on substrates that selectively attract insects by reproducing specific natural environmental conditions and then kill them by hosting and delivering a natural biopesticide or through mechanical action (biomimetic lure and kill approach, BL&K). Such an approach can be theoretically specialized against tiger mosquitoes (BL&K-TM) by designing hydrogels to imitate the natural oviposition site's conditions to employ them inside a lure and kill ovitraps as a biomimetic oviposition substrate. In this work, the hydrogels have been prepared to prove the concept. The study compares lab/on-field oviposition between standard substrates (absorbing paper/masonite) and a physical and chemically crosslinked hydrogel composition panel. Then the best performing is characterized to evaluate a correlation between the hydrogel's properties and oviposition. Tests identify a 2-Hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC)-based physical hydrogel preparation as five times more attractive than the control in a lab oviposition assay. When employed on the field in a low-cost cardboard trap, the same substrate is seven times more capturing than a standard masonite ovitrap, with a duration four times longer.
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