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


  • The first of a series of papers on the Area-wide Management of the Asian Tiger Mosquito Project supported by the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.


BACKGROUND:Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Skuse), the Asian tiger mosquito, is an introduced invasive species in the United States that is 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. The 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. Prior service requests and light trap counts and also detailed county maps were used to chose nine preliminary sites (four in Mercer and five in Monmouth) where weekly surveillance for Ae. albopictus was performed throughout the 2008 active season.

RESULTS: Although outliers were detected, socioeconomic variables in the study sites within each county were fairly consistent. Ae. 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.

CONCLUSION: Three study sites in each county were identified for future studies. The summer-long surveillance also revealed socioeconomic variables critical for the development of integrated mosquito management. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry