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What could be better than combining mosquito awareness education and mosquito surveillance? The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has created a program to offer better insights into where specific mosquito species breed and are found. In doing so, a map has been created for tracking and providing information about mosquito hot-spots. The Invasive Mosquito Control Project will show researchers and mosquito controllers how to respond when a large threat is present in a certain area. Mosquito repelling at its best.

Better Data Makes Mosquito Control

Currently, there is not accurate centralized data for where disease-spreading mosquito breeds are present in the U.S. While there is some local surveillance, the CDC’s national maps only show the POSSIBLE spread of mosquitoes. The CDC maps are based on historical data, recent research, and surveys. While it used to cost up to $150 or more per night to send USDA employees out to set mosquito traps, the new Invasive Mosquito Project will gather more data for a fraction of the price. The solution? Including students in the process.

Recruiting Students & Student Groups

By creating a program that involves schools, garden clubs, and Boy Scout troops, the USDA can gain information while students learn about mosquitoes and the importance of mosquito control. Coordinated by Kansas-based entomologist, Lee Conhnstaedt, the idea of gathering data in a budget conscious way has transformed into an educational opportunity. His hopes are to gain participation from 1/5 of U.S. schools, making mosquito surveys a common practice long-term.

Students set traps using brown paper towels, dark-colored party cups, and water. After a week, they collect the towels and examine them for eggs. After verifying their findings with the USDA, local researchers or mosquito control officials upload their results to the project’s website. The website is meant to give the public much-needed information for mosquito-borne disease prevention- especially important because mosquitoes spread many dangerous diseases including West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, Triple E and Malaria. This could possibly catapult an effective and natural way to eliminate mosquitoes. Learning more about these creatures might not directly kill mosquitos, but it will teach us more about their lifecycle in order to keep us protected from mosquitos.

If you are interested in receiving mosquito treatments at your home and backyard, please give Mosquito Squad a call at 336-793-8463. We are happy to get you set up over the phone or email us at [email protected]

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