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Open AccessArticle

A Tale of Two City Blocks: Differences in Immature and Adult Mosquito Abundances between Socioeconomically Different Urban Blocks in Baltimore (Maryland, USA)

1
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, 2801 Sharon Turnpike, Millbrook, NY 12545, USA
2
Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(3), 3256-3270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110303256
Received: 30 January 2014 / Revised: 11 March 2014 / Accepted: 12 March 2014 / Published: 19 March 2014
Infrastructure degradation in many post-industrial cities has increased the availability of potential mosquito habitats, including container habitats that support infestations of invasive disease-vectors. This study is unique in examining both immature and adult mosquito abundance across the fine-scale variability in socio-economic condition that occurs block-to-block in many cities. We hypothesized that abundant garbage associated with infrastructure degradation would support greater mosquito production but instead, found more mosquito larvae and host-seeking adults (86%) in parcels across the higher socio-economic, low-decay block. Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens were 5.61 (p < 0.001) and 4.60 (p = 0.001) times more abundant, respectively. Most discarded (garbage) containers were dry during peak mosquito production, which occurred during the 5th hottest July on record. Containers associated with human residence were more likely to hold water and contain immature mosquitoes. We propose that mosquito production switches from rain-fed unmanaged containers early in the season to container habitats that are purposefully shaded or watered by mid-season. This study suggests that residents living in higher socioeconomic areas with low urban decay may be at greater risk of mosquito-borne disease during peak mosquito production when local container habitats are effectively decoupled from environmental constraints. View Full-Text
Keywords: mosquito; vector; urban decay; Aedes albopictus; Culex pipiens mosquito; vector; urban decay; Aedes albopictus; Culex pipiens
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Becker, B.; Leisnham, P.T.; LaDeau, S.L. A Tale of Two City Blocks: Differences in Immature and Adult Mosquito Abundances between Socioeconomically Different Urban Blocks in Baltimore (Maryland, USA). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 3256-3270.

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