• Influence of Rainfall on Mosquito Abundance

      Haibach, Nicole; Laymon, Kelsey; Wolff, Liam; Pruitt, Carson; Flite, III, Oscar P.; Department of Biological Sciences (2017-03)
      Some species of mosquitoes, known as container-inhabiting mosquitoes, breed in temporary pools of water typically filled after rainstorms. Some examples of this are tires, trash, and anything that can collect water from a rain event. This study seeks to further understand container-inhabiting mosquito abundance and the connection to rainfall. Mosquitoes were collected at 14 sites in Richmond County, GA on a biweekly basis between January to December 2016. These sites were surveyed using two types of traps, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Light trap and a CDC gravid trap. In addition to rainfall, the 7-14 day incubation period of the mosquito life cycle was considered to assess antecedent rainfall window for the correlation analysis. For the previous 7-14 day total precipitation, we found good correlation for one known container-inhabiting species and poor correlation for two other known species. Culex quinquefasciatus, had the best correlation (R2 = 0.71) while the other two species, Aedes albopictus (R2= -0.005) and Culex salinarius (R2= 0.024) had weak correlations. We conclude that differences between correlations were likely due to the reliance of breeding within containers for C. quinquefasciatus than for the other two species, which have more diverse breeding habitat preferences.
    • Mosquito Abundance and Land Use in Varying Median Income Census Blocks in Richmond County, Georgia

      Wolff, Liam; Laymon, Kelsey; Pruitt, Carson; Haibach, Nicole; Flite, III, Oscar P.; Department of Biological Sciences (2017-03)
      Mosquitoes pose a major health hazard to humans globally as primary vectors for disease transmission. Many species of mosquito rely on standing water pooled in open containers to breed. These are often found in items such as old, unused tires associated with lower income properties. This study sought to determine whether lower income census blocks in Richmond County correlated to increased mosquito abundances. For this project, we compared mosquito abundance, land use, and median household income throughout Richmond County. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) light and gravid traps were deployed January 2014 to December 2016 at 18 different trapping locations of varying median household incomes between an annual salary of $16,000 and $55,000. Data from the United States Census Bureau was compared to land use data from the USGS National Land Cover Database. Results indicated a positive correlation (R2=0.7905) between median annual income and mosquito abundance overall. However, the percentage of mosquitoes that were container breeders did not correlate well against median household income (R2=0.0664). This could be because some container breeders utilize other habitats for breeding. Looking at one strictly container-reliant species, Culex quinquefasciatus, indicated a strong connection (R2=0.9022) between abundance and lower income census blocks.