SEES 2022: The Effects of Climate Change on Mosquito Population

Guest blog: Tristin P.

For my mosquito habitat experiment, I decided to approach it from the perspective of the size of containers. I had 5 different containers, each of which is a different size, from a small bottle to a soap bottle to the largest, a gallon jug. For the first week of testing, I was able to set up the traps in their selective locations, however, was not able to check them till week the end of week 2 as I was on vacation. When I returned, I was able to bring all of the containers to my house to examine the specimens in each bottle. However, when I went to retrieve the said containers from their respective sights, many of them were tipped over due to heavy rainfall from the week before. 

So, from what I found, there were only a few larvae from all of the containers, however, over the next weeks, I will work to anchor the traps and put them in places where rainfall will minimally affect the results. 


Update 1: Over the past week, Florida has gone through some intense rainfall, and over the 4th of July weekend my traps were knocked down yet again, amidst the anchoring from the previous problems. However, I was able to move my traps to a better location so they are able to collect data without interruption better. 1 of the traps also broke, and it had to be repaired, but besides that, the data will hopefully come as time continues.


Update 2: Over this past week, most of which I was on vacation, I was not able to check my mosquito traps very consistently, however when I returned I was surprised with what my traps had found. My traps were filled with a multitude of bugs, none of which were mosquitos. This is somewhat disappointing, as my traps are not working as effectively as I had hoped, however, for this next week hopefully to receive better results I am going to empty out my traps and fill them with more bait, as well as put them in a more shaded area and see if that lures more of them. 

Update 3: Since the last time I checked my mosquito traps, the experiment has gone better, and with that, the results have as well. When I checked the traps at their respective locations, they were still upright and mot overflowed with water as I had hoped, and they were still safely covered in shaded areas. In 2 of the traps, there were what I believe to be mosquito eggs, but not larvae as of yet. To prevent the eggs from hatching, I disposed of the water and put the eggs in a different place to get a closer look. After examination, I tossed the eggs aside, and found larvae in another one of the traps! Although it was the only larvae throughout the experiment, it did end with some sort of success. I believe that it took the perfect conditions and water level for mosquitoes to want to lay eggs at this respective location, so in the future may be those variables can help us to eliminate breeding sites. 

About the author: Tristin is a high school senior who participated in the NASA SEES Earth System Tristin PerkinsExplorers research program. Her 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 US high school ( ​​​​​​​

More Blog Entries