Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics


Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

2010 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.

3. Progress Report
This research project relates to inhouse objective: Demonstrate a strategy for areawide Aedes albopictus control. 2009 field activities at 6 sites chosen after the 2008 mosquito season terminated in November 2009 after the number of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes (ATM) collected in the BGS traps and ovitraps became zero in both Mercer and Monmouth County. Based on 2009 experience, including several laboratory and field trials with promising insecticides, the CORE team developed a protocol for 2010. The preliminary results were discussed in November 2009 at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Washington, DC. Ensuing discussions led to a revised protocol that was presented to the Project Evaluation Team at a meeting in February 2010 at Rutgers University. The protocol was approved in general and details were evaluated/optimized. 2010 control activities began in April 2010, in both counties when source reduction larviciding was initiated. Surveillance activities included weekly trapping of adults with BGS traps, egg counts and species identification from ovitraps in all plots, and 50 house container surveys (Breteau index) in full intervention and control plots. The early season weeks of April 29 and April 30 were chosen for initiation of surveillance activities for Monmouth and Mercer Counties, respectively, so we could monitor the entire season of ATM activity. Mosquito surveillance continued until the season's end. Backpack pyriproxyfen applications were made to selected parcels in the pyriproxifen and experimental sites in Mercer on May 6 and 7 totaling no more than 10 acres. Pyriproxyfen autodissemination stations (‘tiger tubes’) were designed, constructed, and deployed in full intervention plot and ‘tiger tube only’ plot during the last week of July 2010 in Monmouth County. The tiger tubes act on the concept that adult mosquitoes are attracted to the oviposition stations containing suitable larval medium and oviposition substrate. When females enter the tiger tubes to rest and oviposit, they contact a pesticide (the insect growth regulator, pyriproxyfen, lethal to mosquitoes in very small concentrations) which they pick up on their tarsi from the treated oviposition substrate and later distribute to other cryptic, untreated, larval habitats. In this manner, the ‘skip-ovipostion’ behavior of the mosquito is exploited to distribute and apply pesticide to nearby larval habitats. From October to April 2009/2010, several laboratory experiments were developed to examine effects of day-length, container type and temperature on female oviposition behavior. iButtons (Portable iButton stations) were also deployedin small protected stations to continuously monitor (every 30 min) temperature and relative humidity throughout the entire winter season; these units were in place throughout the active ATM. A rapid assay for identification of ATM blood meals was developed. Supporting research also includes the development of quantitative genetic identification of eggs, baseline studies of insecticide resistance, and development of population genetic markers for the ATM. From an organizational standpoint, a showcase website was developed.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 09/18/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page