Skip to main content
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

2013 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 work directly relates to inhouse objective 1. Disseminate and obtain feedback about surveillance and control strategies developed for area-wide control of Aedes albopictus, 2. Disseminate and obtain feedback from recent economic analyses and provide a user friendly costing tool for vector control managers developed by the area-wide project, and 3. Complete transfer of novel entomological and economic strategies to end-users. 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).

4. Accomplishments