In July 2006, an introduction of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, was documented for the first time at a commercial tire recycling plant in northeastern Connecticut, USA. The introduction likely occurred via transport of infested tires originating from northern New Jersey or metropolitan New York City. Efforts were made to determine seasonal establishment and overwintering success by assessing adult biting and oviposition activity in the surrounding woodlands. The first adult female was collected in a CO2-baited Mosquito Magnet® Liberty trap within the confines of the tire plant during the week of July 28. Additional females were collected intermittently thereafter through October 16. Host-seeking female Ae. albopictus attempting to alight on human subjects and larvae hatching from eggs collected in ovitraps placed in the woodlands surrounding the tire plant were detected weekly from August 21 through October 2, denoting seasonal establishment in the adjoining woodlands. However, no larvae of Ae. albopictus were recovered from eggs collected in ovitraps that were placed in the surrounding woodlands or in traps placed 1.0–1.6 km away, nor were any host-seeking females detected by human subjects the following season (July to October 2007), indicating that the species did not survive winter conditions to enable successful colonization. The failure of Ae. albopictus to overwinter and establish itself in the forested woodlands following several weeks of seasonal breeding and oviposition during the summer and early fall were most likely due to winter egg mortality, interspecific competition from Aedes triseriatus and Aedes japonicus, and/or other ecological barriers. Permanent establishment of Ae. albopictus in New England is unlikely despite the recurring importation of infested used tires into recycling facilities. However, continued monitoring of such facilities for potential reinvasion is warranted especially in urban/suburban environs where global warming and milder winter temperatures may provide more suitable conditions in the future for colonization.
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Vol. 25 • No. 1