Background: More sensitive and scalable entomological surveillance tools are required to monitor low levels of transmission that are increasingly common across the tropics, particularly where vector control has been successful. A large-scale larviciding programme in urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania is supported by a community-based (CB) system for trapping adult mosquito densities to monitor programme performance. Methodology: An intensive and extensive CB system for routine, longitudinal, programmatic surveillance of malaria vectors and other mosquitoes using the Ifakara Tent Trap (ITT-C) was developed in Urban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and validated by comparison with quality assurance (QA) surveys using either ITT-C or human landing catches (HLC), as well as a cross-sectional survey of malaria parasite prevalence in the same housing compounds. Results: Community-based ITT-C had much lower sensitivity per person-night of sampling than HLC (Relative Rate (RR) [95% Confidence Interval (CI)] = 0.079 [0.051, 0.121], P < 0.001 for Anopheles gambiae s.l. and 0.153 [0.137, 0.171], P < 0.001 for Culicines) but only moderately differed from QA surveys with the same trap (0.536 [0.406,0.617], P = 0.001 and 0.747 [0.677,0.824], P < 0.001, for An. gambiae or Culex respectively). Despite the poor sensitivity of the ITT per night of sampling, when CB-ITT was compared with QA-HLC, it proved at least comparably sensitive in absolute terms (171 versus 169 primary vectors caught) and cost-effective (153US$ versus 187US$ per An. gambiae caught) because it allowed more spatially extensive and temporally intensive sampling (4284 versus 335 trap nights distributed over 615 versus 240 locations with a mean number of samples per year of 143 versus 141). Despite the very low vectors densities (Annual estimate of about 170 An gambiae s.l bites per person per year), CB-ITT was the only entomological predictor of parasite infection risk (Odds Ratio [95% CI] = 4.43[3.027,7. 454] per An. gambiae or Anopheles funestus caught per night, P =0.0373). Discussion and conclusion CB trapping approaches could be improved with more sensitive traps, but already offer a practical, safe and affordable system for routine programmatic mosquito surveillance and clusters could be distributed across entire countries by adapting the sample submission and quality assurance procedures accordingly.