Patchara Pongmanawut, a GLOBE teacher at the Princess Chulabhorn Science High School in the Trang Province in Thailand, has been doing fantastic work with her students. These students have been at the top of the Mosquito Habitat Mapper Honor Roll for the past month, and show no sign of slowing down!
"In Thailand, there are many mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile fever, St. Louis encephalitis, filariasis and Zika", Pongmanawut says. This has really inspired her and her students to go out regularly and look for potential mosquito breeding habitats.
Here are some of the artificial potential breeding habitats they found- and they also located many larvae!
These students even used flashlights to really get down into the weeds and see if there were larvae in the shoreline of their pond.
They were able to eliminate many of these artificial mosquito breeding habitats by emptying out the water and removing the containers from the school yard. They found larvae in a few of the artificial containers. Using the cell phone magnifiers as well as microscopes, they were able to identify the types of larvae they found. Pongmanawut says "We found 5 different types of mosquito larvae, including Aedes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, Culex, Armigeres and Toxorhynchites"
When asked how public health agencies try to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the Trang province, Pongmanawut said "Public health agencies check the containers inside and outside of houses in every month. If they find mosquito larvae in the water inside containers, they pour the water out. They also suggest changing the water frequently of the containers."
She believes that using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper will "help our community by informing the location of the mosquito breeding sites during outbreak of mosquito borne diseases."
We salute GLOBE teachers, students, and citizen scientists who are helping make a huge difference in their regions by reducing the threat of mosquito-transmitted disease. Hats off to Pongmanawut and her students for leading this charge and sharing their work with all of us.