Mosquito Monitoring Program
Phinizy Center for Water Sciences has begun a mosquito-monitoring program for Richmond County Mosquito Control. Mosquito monitoring, or “surveillance,” involves systematic trapping to collect information about the numbers and kinds of mosquito’s present, which helps us learn how mosquito populations change over time and space. The goal of surveillance is to provide a basis for developing control efforts, evaluate current control operations, and determine where the greatest risk for mosquito-spread illnesses occur. Since January, we’ve been trapping at 14 locations across Richmond County to monitor trends in mosquito populations countywide. Traps are set overnight at each location bi-weekly (once every other week); so, one month consists of 28 “trap nights.” As expected, we’ve seen an increase in both the total number of mosquitoes and the number of different species caught in our traps as we move into the summer months.
Figure 1. This graph displays monthly trends in the number of mosquitoes and number of different species trapped in Richmond County at 14 sites. Each site was trapped twice a month for a total of 28 trap events per month. The blue line represents the total number of mosquitoes caught each month, ranging from 1 in January to 230 in April. The red bars represent the number of different species caught each month ranging from 1 in January to 10 in April.
Benefits of Species Identification
The primary goal of species identification is targeting control efforts. Approximately 60 species of mosquitoes are found in Georgia and each is distinct in:
|o Where the larvae are found||o How far it flies|
|o When, where, and what it bites||o Vector (disease transmitting) abilities|
|o Where it rests||o Pesticide susceptibility|
Identifying nuisance species (feed on humans) and disease vectors (transmit illness), as well as understanding the biology and ecology of each can help reduce manpower, time, funds, and pesticides used in mosquito control.