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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UMiami: Study Finds that Urbanization Creates Diverse Aquatic Habitats for Immature Mosquitoes

According to a study published in Scientific Reports, aquatic habitats created by changes in anthropogenic land use, such as ornamental bromeliads and buckets, are positively correlated with higher amounts of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Dr. Andre Wilke and Dr. John Beier, researchers at the University of Miami Department of Public Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Division, co-authored the study, which emphasized that global increases in temperatures and urbanization are impacting the epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases.

“This study serves as a cornerstone for future studies that are needed to identify how vector mosquitoes utilize the resources available in urban environments and to determine the exact role of these specific urban features in supporting populations of vector mosquito species,” said Dr. Wilke, who was the lead author on the study. “Ultimately, the identification of modifiable urban features that will lead to the reduction of aquatic habitats for vector mosquitoes will allow the development of targeted mosquito control strategies optimized to preventatively control vector mosquitoes in urban areas.”

They conducted immature mosquito surveys in Miami-Dade from April 2018 to June 2019 and conducted 2,488 inspections during that timeframe, collecting mosquitoes in 76 different types of aquatic habitats scattered throughout 141 neighborhoods that were located in the urbanized areas of the city.

In total, they collected 44,599 immature mosquitoes and the Aedes aegypti was among 43 percent of all specimens collected, making it the most common and abundant. The species was primarily found in specific neighborhoods that had buckets, bromeliads, and flowerpots.

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