Mosquito Habitats Toolkit - GLOBE Observer
Resource Library Quick Facts Tips and Troubleshooting
Mosquitoes are the world’s most dangerous animal, but monitoring efforts can bring early warning of potential disease outbreaks. With the GLOBE Observer app, citizen scientists can report potential mosquito habitat and the presence of mosquito larvae. Paired with satellite observations of temperature, water and vegetation, scientists can forecast a communities’ risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
Integrate Mosquito Habitat Mapper into your programming by conducting a mosquito habitat audit around your facility or playing a fun game of mosquito-themed bingo.
Find activities to integrate into carts, demonstrations, classes and more.
Add books, videos and presentations to your program.
Promote your program with these resources and give visitors something to bring home.
Tips and Troubleshooting
While mosquito larvae are harmless, adult mosquitoes may be present. Female mosquitoes bite and can potentially transmit disease. Ask participants to wear long sleeves and apply insect repellant containing DEET. Protect yourself and participants from contaminated water sources by providing gloves and safety goggles. Trash, like water bottles and plastic bags, can become mosquito habitats when they collect water. If your participants will be cleaning up trash, provide gloves and trash grabbers. Remind participants that they should not handle any trash that appears unsafe.
Scout out potential habitats a few days prior to your program. If you are having trouble finding potential habitats at your site, consider setting a mosquito larvae trap. Only collect samples and eliminate habitats in areas where you have permission to do so.
If identifying larvae, move the sample inside, where participants are less likely to encounter adult mosquitoes. Practice identifying larva and using the clip-on microscope prior to your program. Encourage participants to do their best at larvae identification, but remind them that researchers can consult the original photos to verify identification.
Determine the internet connectivity of your location. If you are providing devices, ensure that the app is downloaded and updated prior to the program. If participants will be using their own devices, ensure that they will have internet access or ask them to download the app prior to their arrival.
Sharing the app on a smartphone is fine for individual interactions, but you may wish to use a tablet with groups so that everyone can see what's on the screen. Ask for volunteers to complete each step so that everyone gets a chance to contribute to the observation.
Be sure the app is allowed to access location services; otherwise, any attempted data entries will not go through.
Mosquitoes rely on places where water collects. The availability of mosquito habitat depends on factors like land cover and precipitation.
MHM Featured Scientist
Becky Boger, Brooklyn College, is exploring how we can use citizen science observations and satellite data to predict mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in urban areas.
MHM Sat Feature
The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission measures how much rain and snow is falling to Earth from the clouds. It is able to give us updated measurements every 3 hours, and has over thirty years of continuous data. Mosquitoes rely on having sources of standing water in which to lay their eggs, and thus we can use GPM data to help us determine when and where we will find outbreaks of mosquito-transmitted disease.