• 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.