New app lets ‘citizen scientists’ track breeding grounds for mosquitos

a mosquito larva in water

Texas A&M University researchers have created a new mobile app designed to help fight the Zika virus by tracking breeding grounds for the pathogen’s primary vector, the common Aedes mosquito

Jennifer A. Horney, an associate professor in the School of Public Health, and Daniel W. Goldberg, an assistant professor in the College of Geosciences, collaborated to develop the technology to fight the mosquitos at their source: standing water.

“With our new app, community members—citizen scientists so to speak—can do surveys and note the prevalence and locations of potential mosquito breeding grounds,” Horney said. “This data will then all be mapped online, and health departments can use that information to prioritize areas for mosquito control measures.”

People can record the number of different types of containers—old tires, buckets, bird baths, clogged gutters—that could harbor Zika-carrying mosquito eggs, along with the address of the property. The app then automatically adds the location to a website for local health officials to review.

The app is available to download for iOS and Android devices.

More at the Health Science Center

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