Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
2010 Annual Report
Backpack pyriproxyfen applications were made to selected parcels in Mercer County in May to 10 acre plots. Pyriproxyfen (an insect growth regulator which is effective at very small concentrations) auto dissemination stations (‘tiger tubes’) were designed, constructed, and deployed in the full intervention site and the “tiger tube” only plot during July in Monmouth County. Female ATM are attracted to these oviposition sites and contact the pesticide on their tarsi (“feet”) and distribute it to other cryptic larval habitats; exploiting the “skip-oviposition behavior” of the ATM.
We also studied the impact of adulticides and the effects of day-length and container type on female oviposition behavior and the effect of temperature. We developed a rapid assay for identifying the ATM host’s blood meal, a quantitative method for genetic identification of eggs, baseline studies of insecticide resistance, and population genetic markers for the ATM.
In phase 1 of the household survey, 450 of 1,350 households randomly chosen from residential lists responded to the knowledge, attitude and behavior (KAB) survey. When asked to what extent mosquitoes prevented them from enjoying outdoor activities, 64% felt that mosquitoes prevented their enjoyment. In addition, 21% were prevented “a little bit” and 15% were “not at all” impacted. The rates were similar in Mercer and Monmouth Counties.
For phase 2 of the survey, the modified survey instrument had 11 behavior items from the educational campaign. The second phase of the KAB survey used a mixed sample frame and invited households who responded to the first phase to participate again and randomly selected 1,050 new households for a total sample size of 1,500. To analyze phase 1 of the 2008 “willingness to pay study,” we randomly selected 197 households from residential lists. Forty-three were reached, responded, and generated complete data.
Willingness to pay to control mosquitoes was endorsed by 44% of respondents; 89% would pay higher taxes and 11% would make regular charitable contributions. The mean willingness to pay was $0.38 per person per month (pppm) and ranged from $0.05 to $5.00 with a median of $0.50 pppm. This implied that residents would support an additional $4.6 million ($4.60/capita) annually in county taxes (a 154% increase) for mosquito control. Of those not willing to pay, 71% “could not afford regular payments.” Economic cost analyses for both counties are partially complete.