2009 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The objective of the cooperative effort between the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University (Rutgers University) and the ARS Mosquito and Fly Research Unit (MFRU) is to demonstrate an effective strategy for the area-wide control of the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) while demonstrating the public health importance and socio-economic benefits of the area-wide control approach. The technologies developed, implemented and found effective in New Jersey will be extended to end-users responsible for controlling the Ae. albopictus mosquito across the U.S. Rutgers University has a long and revered tradition in the development of mosquito management and control strategies in the northeastern part of the country. Similarly, the MFRU has a long history in the development of novel strategies and approaches for surveying, controlling and protecting people from nuisance mosquitoes as well as those that transmit pathogens. Economists from Brandeis University in Massachusetts will guide and direct the studies of the benefits of the area-wide program. Together, these three institutions will utilize their expertise and human resources to collaborate and focus on a mosquito species that causes severe problems for residents of many areas of the U.S.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Rutgers University will establish collaborations with the organized mosquito control programs in Mercer and Monmouth Counties, recognized as two of the best programs in New Jersey. Localities infested with Ae. albopictus will be identified and used as field study sites in which to implement or improve existing strategies and develop new ones.
This project relates to the in-house project Objective 1: Demonstrate a strategy for area-wide Aedes albopictus control; and Objective 2: Demonstrate the public health importance and socio-economic benefits of area-wide mosquito control. This was the second year of the Areawide Pest Management (AWPM) Program for the Asian Tiger Mosquito (ATM). During the 2008 mosquito season, field surveys of the ATM were conducted at nine sites through the end of October until ATMs were no longer present in BGS traps in both Mercer and Monmouth Counties. At that time, three sites (a total of six), each with approximately 1,000 residences, were selected in each county for future studies. Each group of three sites was chosen based on equivalent socioeconomic parameters (i.e., plot size and average family income), and statistically indistinguishable numbers of adult ATM throughout the summer of 2008. The three sites were randomly assigned as areas to receive a full intervention or an educational intervention, or serve as an untreated “control” area. Based on field experience acquired in 2008, including several laboratory and field trials with promising insecticides, the Core team drafted a protocol for Fiscal Year 2009. The protocol was presented to the Project Evaluation Team (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tulane University, the University of Florida and the USDA ARS) at a project review meeting held in February 2009 at Rutgers University. The protocol was discussed with the Evaluation Team, the Core team including the ARS Leader of National Program 104, and the ATM project staff. After evaluation and optimization, the protocol was approved. In April 2009, field activities were begun when source reduction and educational campaigns were initiated in Mercer and in Monmouth Counties. ATM surveillance activities were initiated in mid-May and included weekly trapping of adults with BGS traps, egg counts and species identification from ovitraps, 50-house container surveys (Breteau index), and bi-weekly counts of artificial containers with water or with water and mosquito larvae that were present near the ovitraps. The second and third weeks of May were chosen for initiation of surveillance activities in Mercer and Monmouth Counties in order to monitor the entire season of ATM activity. The number of females being collected in late-July increased and there was a preliminary 50% reduction in numbers of ATMs between the full intervention site and the untreated “control” site. A reinvasion analysis examining the spatial order and rates of re-occurrence of ATM eggs is also being conducted, as are blood meal analyses, height of oviposition site, and effects of day-length and container type on female oviposition behavior. Supporting research includes the development of quantitative genetic identification of eggs, baseline studies of insecticide resistance, and development of population genetic markers for the ATM. Protocols are also being developed for the initiation of adulticiding, and the potential use of residual insecticides in 2010.
Progress was monitored during the year with several telephonic meetings held with the Core Team.