A biosecurity response was triggered by the detection of Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culicidae) at the Port of Auckland, New Zealand. Ae. albopictus does not occur in New Zealand and is the most significant mosquito threat to this country. The possibility that a founding population had established, resulted in a large-scale biosecurity surveillance and control program. The response was initiated in early March 2007 and completed by mid-May 2007. No further exotic mosquitoes were detected. The response surveillance program consisted of larval habitat surveys and high density ovi- and light trapping. It was coordinated with a habitat modification and S-methoprene treatment control program. The response policies were guided by analysis of surveillance and quality assurance data, population modeling, and trace-back activities. Mosquito habitat and activity close to port were both more abundant than expected, particularly in storm water drain sumps. Sumps are difficult to treat, and during the response some modification was required to the surveillance program and the control regime. We were assured of the absence or eradication of any Ae. albopictus population, as a result of nil detection from surveillance, backed up by four overlapping rounds of insecticide treatment of habitat. This work highlights the importance of port surveillance and may serve as a guide for responses for future urban mosquito incursions.
Keywords: Aedes albopictus; biosecurity response; surveillance trapping; modeling; control
Journal Article. 5115 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Disease Ecology and Epidemiology ; Entomology