Improving the Surveillance and Control of Vector Mosquitoes in Heterogeneous Landscapes

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Mosquitoes are often called the deadliest animals on earth, posing major public health issues in the United States and worldwide. The most common mosquito species in urban areas in the eastern United States are Aedes albopictus and Culex pipiens, which are vectors of numerous diseases including West Nile virus. Surveillance and management of Ae. albopictus and Cx. pipiens is particularly challenging due to the heterogeneity of urban landscapes, which change on relatively small spatial scales because of underlying social factors such as socioeconomic status (SES) and related infrastructure. As a result, mosquito habitat and distribution varies at correspondingly fine scales. The overall goal of my thesis is to assess relationships between SES and its associated environmental variables with Aedes and Culex mosquitoes in urban landscapes. The results of my research provide recommendations for integrated pest management strategies and highlight environmental justice issues related to disease transmission in low income areas.