Location: Mosquito and Fly ResearchTitle: Economic evaluation of an area-wide integrated pest management program to control the Asian tiger mosquito in New Jersey) Author
Submitted to: PLoS One
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/14/2014
Publication Date: 10/22/2014
Citation: Shepard, D.S., Halasa, Y.A., Fonseca, D.M., Farajollahi, A., Healy, S.P., Gaugler, R., Bartlett-Healy, K., Strickman, D.A., Clark, G.G. 2014. Economic evaluation of an area-wide integrated pest management program to control the Asian tiger mosquito in New Jersey. PLoS One. 9(10):e111014. Interpretive Summary: The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an important disease vector as well as a nuisance biter that limits outdoor human activity. This study conducted an economic evaluation of a state-of-the-art, area-wide, integrated pest management (AW-IPM) program to control this mosquito. The AW-IPM was implemented in two counties in New Jersey from 2009 through 2011. Surveying an average of 415 randomly selected households in AW-IPM and control areas each fall, the evaluation measured the gain in yard and porch activities and valued them based on willingness to pay. Analyzing budgets and staff time, the evaluation found the program cost $41.18 while benefits averaged $355.82 per adult per year. The resulting benefit-cost ratio was 8.64, indicating that each $1 spent on AW-IPM gave adults additional porch and yard time worth over $8. This study is the first economic evaluation of a control program against the Asian tiger mosquito. It shows that it is feasible to quantify the benefits of a mosquito control program and that the benefits of this AW-IPM program dramatically exceeded its costs.
Technical Abstract: Aedes albopictus is the most invasive mosquito in the world, an important disease vector, and a biting nuisance that limits outdoor activities. Area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) is the recommended control strategy. We conducted an economic evaluation of the AW-IPM project in Mercer and Monmouth Counties, New Jersey with a controlled design (AW-IPM vs. control) from 2009 through 2011. The study analyzed financial documents and staff time for AW-IPM, and surveyed an average of 415 randomly chosen households in AW-IPM and control areas each fall from 2008 through 2011. Hours lost from yard and porch activities were calculated as differences between actual and potential hours of these activities in an average summer week if there had been no mosquito concerns. Net estimated benefits of AW-IPM were based on cross-over and difference-in-difference analyses. Reductions in hours lost were valued based on respondents’ willingness to pay for a hypothetical extra hour free of mosquitoes spent on yard or porch activities and literature on valuation of a quality adjusted life year (QALY). The incremental cost of AW-IPM per adult was $41.18 per year. Number of hours lost due to mosquitoes in AW-IPM areas between the base year (2008) and the intervention years (2009-2011) declined by 3.30 hours per summer week in AW-IPM areas compared to control areas. Survey respondents valued this improvement at $27.37 per adult per summer week. Over the 13-week summer, an average adult resident gained 42.96 hours of yard and porch time, worth $355.82. The net benefit over the summer was $314.63. With an average of 0.0027 QALYs gained per adult per year, AW-IPM was cost effective at $15,300 per QALY gained. The benefit-cost ratio from hours gained was 8.64, indicating that each $1 spent on AW-IPM gave adults additional porch and yard time worth over $8.