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Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

2012 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 relates to Objective 1 of the in-house project (1) "Demonstrate a strategy for area-wide Aedes albopictus control; (2) demonstrate the public health importance and socio-economic benefits of area-wide mosquito control; and (3) transfer the strategy to end-users of the technology." FY2011 activities at 6 sites in Mercer and Monmouth Counties, NJ ended in November 2011 when no traps had Asian Tiger mosquitoes (ATM). A 50%-60% reduction in adult ATM was achieved in the Full Intervention sites in both counties. Area-wide applications of pyriproxyfen had a significant effect on adult ATM and egg production that were, however, equivalent to Bti. The objectives for 2012 were primarily to (1) test definitively the effect of early season larvicide applications on ATM adult populations; (2) test if differences in the way ATM populations in urban and suburban New Jersey react to area-wide control reflect differences of larval production sites – specifically if Mercer County ATM populations explore more open containers while Monmouth County ATM populations explore cryptic habitats such as catch basins and rain gutter flexi-tubes; (3) produce a series of Standard Operating Procedures to be provided to other mosquito control programs interested in controlling ATM; (4) engage a series of Mosquito Control programs across the U.S. to test the strategies developed in the Area-wide ATM program. The weather patterns in New Jersey each year of the ATM project have been considerably different and record breaking. In 2011 we had very warm weather from spring to fall, and an especially wet summer, with an unusual hurricane with record rains at the end of August (Figure 2). In 2012 we experienced an unprecedented warm winter and spring leading to exceptionally high populations of ATM in Monmouth County, as predicted by the temperature model we are developing. Also, as predicted ATM populations in inner city Trenton, very urban, have been depressed. The weather has proven to be a challenge, especially for surveillance, although it has also created unprecedented opportunities considering the consistent and large dataset we have now accumulated.

4. Accomplishments