Mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile virus (WNV) and dengue are growing threats to the United States. Proactive mosquito control is one strategy to reduce the risk of disease transmission.
[Photo: Dr. Kacey Ernst]
In 2012, researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research and University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, measured the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for increased mosquito control in two cities: Key West, Florida, where there have been recent dengue outbreaks, and Tucson, Arizona, where dengue vectors are established and WNV has been circulating for over a decade. The study is published in the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Nearly three quarters of respondents in both cities (74 percent in Tucson and 73 percent in Key West) would be willing to pay $25 or more annually toward an increase in publicly funded mosquito control efforts. WTP was positively associated with income (both cities), education (Key West), and perceived mosquito abundance (Tucson). Concerns about environmental impacts of mosquito control were associated with lower WTP in Key West.
The results suggest that expanded mosquito control efforts should incorporate public opinion as they respond to evolving disease risks.
Willingness to Pay for Mosquito Control in Key West, Florida and Tucson, Arizona.
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Apr 6, 2016