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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Research Project #412820


Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

2011 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 project is related to Objective 5 of the in-house project - Determine chemical and other cues associated with regulation and orientation of specific behaviors by Aedes albopictus, Culex pipiens group species/hybrids, and other biting arthropods that can be applied to the solution of operational surveillance and control problems. A summary of project progress in calendar year 2010 and planned activities for calendar year 2011 were presented by Rutgers and Brandeis team members to ARS personnel and the Project Evaluation Team at an annual program review held in January 2011 at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. In 2010, a 50%-60% reduction in adult Asian Tiger mosquito (ATM) abundance was achieved in the Full Intervention sites in both Mercer and Monmouth Counties; with a maximum 75% reduction in Monmouth County. Backpack applications of pyriproxyfen insecticide in 10% of the sites had no effect on adult ATM. Active educational efforts reduced the number of containers with immature mosquitoes in backyards but these efforts need to be reinforced. In 2011, surveillance efforts began in May with weekly trapping of adults, egg counts and species identification from ovitraps. The 2011 control efforts began in April and focused on area-wide application of larvicides guided by a degree-day model. The Full Intervention and Control sites were switched in Monmouth County to measure cumulative effects of prior source reduction activities and to evaluate the degree-day, area-wide larvicide strategy. No parcel-to-parcel source reduction or larviciding was conducted. In July, a “hot-spot” treatment procedure using traps; treatment of larval habitats with spinosad (an insect growth regulator), source reduction, and removal of excess vegetation; and hand held ultra low volume spraying occurred in the Full Intervention site in Mercer County. An effort began to expand the project from the 2 original New Jersey counties to 2 “new” sites in Mercer and Monmouth Counties, 2-4 sites in 3 counties in Pennsylvania, 2 counties in Louisiana and Virginia, and 1 county in Florida. Prior to detection of ATM activity, sites were surveyed with 20-25 ovitraps. Egg papers were sent to Rutgers for processing to find pairs of sites with similar ATM dynamics where control activities might occur in 2012. Various aspects of these results were presented and discussed at the annual meetings of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta, GA (November 2010) and the American Mosquito Control Association in Anaheim, CA (March, 2011). Progress was monitored during the period of Asian tiger mosquito activity. Project activities were monitored via weekly e-mail updates of field activities and results, and periodic conference calls between team members and ARS staff.

4. Accomplishments