Construction sites in Miami-Dade County, Florida are highly favorable environments for vector mosquitoes

André B.B. Wilke, Chalmers Vasquez, William Petrie, Alberto J Caban-Martinez, John C Beier

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Urbanization is increasing globally, and construction sites are an integral part of the urbanization process. It is unknown to what extent construction sites create favorable breeding conditions for mosquitoes. The main objectives of the present study were to identify what species of mosquitoes are present at construction sites and the respective physical features associated with their production. Eleven construction sites were cross-sectionally surveyed for the presence of mosquitoes in Miami-Dade County, Florida including in areas previously affected by the Zika virus outbreak in 2016. A total of 3.351 mosquitoes were collected; 2.680 adults and 671 immatures. Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus comprised 95% of all collected mosquitoes and were the only species found in their immature forms breeding inside construction sites. Results for the Shannon and Simpson indices, considering both immature and adult specimens, yielded the highest values for Cx. quinquefasciatus and Ae. aegypti. The individual rarefaction curves indicated that sampling sufficiency was highly asymptotic for Cx. quinquefasciatus and Ae. aegypti, and the plots of cumulative species abundance (ln S), Shannon index (H) and log evenness (ln E) (SHE) revealed the lack of heterogeneity of species composition, diversity and evenness for the mosquitoes found breeding in construction sites. The most productive construction site breeding features were elevator shafts, Jersey plastic barriers, flooded floors and stair shafts. The findings of this study indicate that vector mosquitoes breed in high numbers at construction sites and display reduced biodiversity comprising almost exclusively Ae. aegypti and Cx. quinquefasciatus. Such findings suggest that early phase construction sites have suitable conditions for the proliferation of vector mosquitoes. More studies are needed to identify modifiable worker- and organizational-level factors to improve mosquito control practices and guide future mosquito control strategies in urban environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0209625
JournalPLoS One
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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