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Health Place. 2017 Jan;43:41-48. doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.11.004. Epub 2016 Nov 25.

Managing mosquito spaces: Citizen self-governance of disease vectors in a desert landscape.

Author information

1
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 1064 E Lowell St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA. Electronic address: nvonhedemann@email.arizona.edu.
2
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 1064 E Lowell St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, 550 North Park Street, 122 Science Hall, Madison, WI 53706, USA. Electronic address: director@nelson.wisc.edu.
3
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 1064 E Lowell St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; Environmental and Earth Sciences, Willamette University, 900 State Street, Salem, OR 97301, USA. Electronic address: mkbutterworth@willamette.edu.
4
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 1064 E Lowell St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; Division of Water Rights, State Water Resources Control Board, 1001 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814, USA. Electronic address: klandau@email.arizona.edu.
5
School of Geography and Development, University of Arizona, 1064 E Lowell St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA; Department of Global Health, University of Washington, 4225 Roosevelt Way NE #100, Seattle, WA 98105, USA. Electronic address: cwmorin@uw.edu.

Abstract

Public health agencies' strategies to control disease vectors have increasingly included "soft" mosquito management programs that depend on citizen education and changing homeowner behaviors. In an effort to understand public responses to such campaigns, this research assesses the case of Tucson, Arizona, where West Nile virus presents a serious health risk and where management efforts have focused on public responsibility for mosquito control. Using surveys, interviews, and focus groups, we conclude that citizens have internalized responsibilities for mosquito management but also expect public management of parks and waterways while tending to reject the state's interference with privately owned parcels. Resident preferences for individualized mosquito management hinge on the belief that mosquito-borne diseases are not a large threat, a pervasive distrust of state management, and a fear of the assumed use of aerial pesticides by state managers. Opinions on who is responsible for mosquitoes hinge on both perceptions of mosquito ecology and territorial boundaries, with implications for future disease outbreaks.

KEYWORDS:

Arizona; Biopower; Environmentality; Political ecology; West Nile virus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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