Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
2013 Annual Report
FY2012 included activities being developed in several locations in NJ and Florida. Fieldwork (surveillance and control) was initiated and terminated as per established protocols and in some cases such as in Florida, progressed throughout the “winter”. The main objectives for 2012 and 2013 were to (1) summarize, analyze and publish results as well as develop detailed Standard Operating Procedures to be made available to other mosquito control programs; (2) test of Standard Operational Procedures by collaborating mosquito control programs in NJ and other states besides NJ; (3) understand the mechanisms underlying the observed marked differences in success between urban and suburban sites by performing extensive comparative analysis of larval development in cryptic habitats, developing “common garden” experiments, and using newly developed molecular tools; (4) finish the extensive comparative analysis of insecticide resistance in U.S. populations of Aedes albopictus. Overall, this 5-year project revealed that populations of Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, in the U.S. are highly associated with human dwellings and use humans as the predominant source of blood. As a result they have a considerable impact on quality of life, as measured by our economist colleagues at Brandeis University. Indeed, we found that childhood activity outdoors increases significantly in areas where our proposed control measures have been implemented. Our work also revealed that populations of Ae. albopictus are locally adapted and highly dependent on local conditions of heat and humidity. As a result, the guidelines we developed for control of this pest need to be fine-tuned locally with the aid of a degree-day model and tandem broadcast applications of larvicides and adulticides. As of this time, U.S. populations are susceptible to most classes of insecticides although our analysis revealed resistance to both DDT and malathion (an organochlorine and organophosphate, respectively). We found also that education, especially active engagement, is a critical tool towards recruiting local residents in performing source reduction as well as allowing access of mosquito control personnel to private residences (where most of the immature development occurs).