What: Project where community members build traps to collect mosquito eggs and take pictures of the adult mosquitoes that emerge
When: You can complete this project any time between July 22 and October 15, 2020. This is the peak season for collecting Asian tiger mosquitoes.
Why we need help: The Asian tiger mosquito (ATM) is originally from Asia. It was introduced to the United States decades ago and every year the Asian tiger mosquito moves farther north. The ATM is aggressive and bites people throughout the day. Besides being a huge nuisance, they are capable of spreading a number of disease causing agents (such as viruses and dog heartworm) that can make humans and pets sick. Having more information regarding the mosquito’s location will help us focus research efforts to prevent the spread of diseases.
Project Goal: Our goal is to figure out how far north the Tiger Mosquito has moved. We are seeking concerned citizen scientists like you to help us find the Asian tiger mosquito. Your participation should be fun and educational! It would involve making a mosquito trap out of household supplies and recyclables and reporting back if you catch an Asian tiger mosquito. Along the way you’ll learn about the risks these mosquitoes pose to human health and how you can prevent them from infesting your community.
How to Participate
Follow these steps to complete the project:
1.) Sign up to participate: We will be using email and text messaging to send a few reminders about important dates and steps to participate in the project.
We will only use your information for these activities while the project is active. We will not share your information with anyone outside the project.
2.) Take the quiz: Start the project by answering a few questions about the Asian tiger mosquito.
3.) Build a trap: Make a mosquito trap out of recycled materials and household items by following a short guide. You will place the trap in your yard between late July and mid-October.
Watch this short YouTube video for instructions on building your mosquito trap.
4.) Share your findings: Send us your data and pictures of our public enemy #1, and let us know how much you learned!
Question: Do I have to place the trap on a specific day?
Answer: The Asian tiger mosquito season is roughly between July 22 and October 15. We are asking participants to place the trap during this time period. If you place a trap outside of this date range, you will have a lower chance of catching the correct mosquito.
Question: Can we place multiple traps?
Answer: Please do! Just remember to fill out a data sheet for each location where you place traps. Multiple traps placed in the same yard should be recorded on the same data sheet.
Question: Am I at risk of getting a virus from the mosquitoes in my trap?
Answer: You are collecting mosquito eggs and hatching adults that have never fed. This means they have not had the opportunity to pick up a virus or parasite from an animal or person. The same cannot be said for the mosquitoes in your yard, though. To reduce your risk of being bitten by a mosquito, follow the CDC guidance at https://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/prevent-mosquito-bites.html.
Question: How long will each part of the experiment take?
Answer: Each step of this experiment will take a different amount of time. In all the experiment should take around 2 weeks.
- Egg traps: You will leave the egg trap out for 4 to 6 days, allowing it to sit for just a few days after you see eggs in it. Make sure to look for eggs in your trap on a daily basis.
- Egg sheet: The egg sheet will dry over 1 night (no more than 12 hours).
- Hatching: You will flood the eggs to hatch them, and it will take between 7 and 9 days to start seeing adults in your trap. You will need to put the second part of the trap on once you see mosquito larvae.
If you have additional questions please feel free to contact our program directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
This project is part of a larger endeavor on the development of climate-informed decision-support tools for the prevention of Aedes-borne disease in the US through Columbia University’s Earth Institute, funded by the International Research and Applications Program (IRAP) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Award NA18AOR4310339). Visit the IRAP project website for more details.