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Title: Area-wide management of Aedes albopictus: choice of study sites based on geospatial characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and mosquito populations

item UNLU, ISIK - Rutgers University
item FARAJOLLAHI, ARY - Mercer County
item HEALY, SEAN - Monmouth County
item CREPEAU, TARYN - Monmouth County
item BARTLETT-HEALY, KRISTEN - Rutgers University
item WILLIGES, ERIC - Mercer County
item Strickman, Daniel
item Clark, Gary
item GAUGLER, RANDY - Rutgers University
item FONSECA, DINA - Rutgers University

Submitted to: Pest Management Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/17/2011
Publication Date: 3/30/2011
Citation: Unlu, I., Farajollahi, A., Healy, S., Crepeau, T., Bartlett-Healy, K., Williges, E., Strickman, D.A., Clark, G.G., Gaugler, R., Fonseca, D.M. 2011. Area-wide management of Aedes albopictus: choice of study sites based on geospatial characteristics, socioeconomic factors, and mosquito populations. Pest Management Science. 67:965-974.

Interpretive Summary: In 1986, Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito, was found in Houston, Texas and determined to be introduced via the importation of used tires from Asia. Subsequently, this species has expanded its range in the U.S. to at least 30 states. It is now regarded as the most important daytime biting mosquito in the country. In addition, it has been implicated as a vector of several mosquito-borne viruses of humans and animals. In 2007, the Agriculture Research Service of the USDA established an area-wide project to study this species in New Jersey and develop an integrated mosquito management strategy that could be implemented in other parts of the country to control Ae. albopictus. The project involves field and laboratory studies conducted in two New Jersey counties in close collaboration with entomologists at Rutgers University and the ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Florida. Economists from Brandeis University are also participating in the project to determine costs associated with the project and the willingness of residents to pay for additional mosquito control activities. The current publication explains how study sites for the initial field studies were selected using geospatial characteristics, socioeconomic factors and mosquito populations. These factors were used to ensure that the sites were as similar as possible prior to conducting mosquito surveillance activities and evaluating various strategies for controlling immature and adult Ae. albopictus.

Technical Abstract: Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), the Asian tiger mosquito, is an introduced invasive species in the U.S. responsible for a significant proportion of service requests to local mosquito control programs. This container-utilizing mosquito is refractory to standard mosquito abatement measures in the United States. This study is part of a USDA-ARS project to develop an area-wide management strategy for Ae. albopictus. Our goal was to identify three study sites similar in socioeconomic parameters, geography, and Ae. albopictus abundance, in urban and suburban areas in Mercer and Monmouth Counties in New Jersey. We used prior service requests and light trap counts, and detailed county maps to chose nine preliminary sites (4 in Mercer and 5 in Monmouth) where weekly surveillance for Ae. albopictus was performed throughout the 2008 active season. Although we detected outliers, socioeconomic variables in the study sites within each county were fairly consistent. Aedes albopictus abundance was associated with poverty levels and had the highest maxima in Mercer, although average mosquito abundance was similar in urban Mercer and suburban Monmouth. We identified three study sites in each county for future studies. The summer long surveillance also revealed socioeconomic variables critical for the development of integrated mosquito management.