The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus): Spatial, Ecological, and Human Implications in Southeast Virginia
Ratigan, Christopher William
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The overall theme that drove my research was the concern for public health and its possible compromise due to the colonization of large areas of the United States by the disease-vectoring Aedes albopictus. The main objective is to determine the elements that make an environment conducive to Aedes albopictus populations. Specifically, the objective of this research is to identify the socio-economic impact of Aedes albopictus on residents in the Hampton Roads area in southeast Virginia and determine if there is an identifiable environment in which A. albopictus could be found. Data were collected at the Census block group level (demographic variables) and at the single household level (survey and physical-cultural variables). The variables were then correlated (Pearson) and the results were analyzed. Only variables that were less than (.1) significance were examined. The following physical-cultural variables were found to be associated with the reduction of A. albopictus activity: having a sea breeze, being near an oceanfront, cutting the grass frequently, and keeping the overall neatness of a property high. Secondary variables that are related to the decrease in A. albopictus populations are sunny yards, yards with no containers that can hold water, and yards that contain coniferous trees versus deciduous trees. The primary socio-economic variables that can signify an environment with high A. albopictus activity are: lower house value and median rent value, lower levels of education, and a lower median income level. Other demographic variables that help determine the size of an A. albopictus population are (in order of significance): ethnicity (white or black), poverty/unemployed, owner/renter occupied, and the year a house was built. These secondary variables increase A. albopictus numbers if the following trends exist: high percent of persons in poverty and unemployed, higher percent of renter occupied homes, and older houses.
- Masters Theses