SOCIOECOLOGICAL PREDICTORS OF COMMUNITY-LED MOSQUITO CONTROL SUCCESS
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The worldwide spread of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (ATM), Aedes albopictus, demands effective and sustainable urban mosquito management, due to their disease vector capacity and potential for causing high nuisance levels. Agency-led mosquito management is often ineffective at controlling ATM or unwanted by residents. In 2016 and 2017, citizens of University Park, Maryland, USA led a town-wide campaign to encourage residents to purchase Gravid Aedes Traps (GATs), a lethal oviposition trap successful at capturing Aedes mosquitoes. This campaign resulted in significant reductions of adult female ATM in areas with >80% GAT coverage among yards. The goal of this study was to test the continued effectiveness of University Park’s citizen-led program and explore social and environmental predictors of household GAT deployment in 2021. We conducted adult trapping at 18 sites in University Park to test if current levels of GAT deployment still predicted reductions in area-wide adult female ATM, distributed an online questionnaire to gather data for testing relationships of demographic, environmental, knowledge, and attitude predictors with household GAT deployment, and conducted environmental yard surveys to assess relationships of GAT deployment with container habitat and mosquito container infestation. We found that only 24.9% (130/523) of University Park households deployed GATs in 2021, which is substantially lower than the 46.0% (439/954) of households that deployed GATs in 2017. GAT coverage in 2021 did not exceed 50% (3/6) in any adult-trapping area, well below the 80% threshold thought needed to reduce area wide adult Aedes. Nevertheless, we found a significant negative relationship between household GAT deployment and adult female ATM, indicating that GATs are still effective at controlling Aedes at lower coverages. Households that deployed GATs had lower numbers of total, but not infested, water-filled containers, suggesting GAT deployment was often a part of a household's overall effort to reduce mosquitoes alongside source reduction, but that source reduction and GATs may not limit mosquito infestation at the yard scale. Households with middle incomes, further from town greenspace were less likely to deploy GATs along with respondents who spent less time outdoors, were less favorable toward University Park's GAT Program, and could not name ATM as University Park's most common human-biting mosquito. Respondent familiarity of ATM was lower in renters than homeowners, and respondent favorability towards University Park's GAT program was lower in households with children, and with respondents that do fewer yard activities and who had resided for less time in the town. The results of this study show that a citizen-led mosquito-control program using a passive lethal oviposition trap is still effective, four years after its inception, and that there were specific social and environmental predictors of household participation. In this thesis, I will discuss these results and their implications for bottom-up, citizen-led, control of ATM and other Aedes in other residential communities and demonstrate a framework for understanding drivers of participation and success in community-led environmental management.