My mosquito trap was definitely a rollercoaster, and with this being the last required update, I still plan on seeing how the traps do after the internship finishes since this has been really interesting. To give some background, I set out three traps around 30-40 yards away from each other around my AOI so I could get an idea of how different areas may yield different results. The first trap was in my backyard, the second trap was in a park close to my house, and the third was by a sidewalk (the pictures I use are from the third trap). The only trap I really had to refill with water was the one in my backyard, which is crazy with the Texas heat, but it is also due to the fact that it rained for almost 3-4 days during the experiment.
In the first week, I could already see a few larvae. The picture above was the location that I was most successful in, which is probably because this one was in more of an isolated area with less human disturbances. I did have to adjust to the crazy Texas weather throughout the whole experiment, with on-and-off rain and obvious Texas heat warnings each day.
In the second week (the picture), you can clearly see less water, which is due to the Texas heat. What you may not see is the fact that there were still larvae in the trap, which is good news that I was really content to see. The heat this week was the worse I've probably ever experienced, with it getting as high as 120 degrees, which may have affected the mosquito and larva population. Something I do think that I could have done better was use darker buckets since I was reading an article in my free time after I set the traps out that said this would yield better results.
This picture is the conclusion. There was very few water and no new larvae that I could spot. Just to conclude, I made the mosquito traps in different locations with different levels of human interference. The results weren't too surprising since I found that more human interference/disturbance means fewer mosquito larvae found. Something I did see was that with the extreme heat in Texas, there has actually been less mosquitos found, which is another factor as to why I didn't see any new mosquito larva this week. In conclusion, this was a really fun and challenging experiment that made me learn more about mosquitos and their behavior, but also the various factors that come into play when conducting an experiment of this magnitude.
About the author
Manuel, is from Katy, TX. This virtual internship is part of a collaboration between the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) and the NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium (TSGC) to extend the TSGC Summer Enhancement in Earth Science (SEES) internship for U.S. high school (http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/sees-internship/). This guest blog shares the NASA SEES Earth System Explorers virtual internship in 2023.