, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 435-446
Date: 05 Sep 2010

Climate-based models for West Nile Culex mosquito vectors in the Northeastern US

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Climate-based models simulating Culex mosquito population abundance in the Northeastern US were developed. Two West Nile vector species, Culex pipiens and Culex restuans, were included in model simulations. The model was optimized by a parameter-space search within biological bounds. Mosquito population dynamics were driven by major environmental factors including temperature, rainfall, evaporation rate and photoperiod. The results show a strong correlation between the timing of early population increases (as early warning of West Nile virus risk) and decreases in late summer. Simulated abundance was highly correlated with actual mosquito capture in New Jersey light traps and validated with field data. This climate-based model simulates the population dynamics of both the adult and immature mosquito life stage of Culex arbovirus vectors in the Northeastern US. It is expected to have direct and practical application for mosquito control and West Nile prevention programs.