Mosquito traps capture mosquito by mimicking human/animal “breaths”, using a C02 tank(in our case). Our mosquito traps constantly exhale carbon dioxide, luring female mosquito;s, in search of blood in order to develop eggs.
-Akira Whitecrane 7/21/15
After capturing the mosquito’s we keep them contained in the trap by tying the net shut. We then place our mosquito’s in a freezer and freeze them. After about an hour we take the mosquito’s out of the freezer and sort them out under a microscope. We are only interested in one type of mosquito called the “Tarsalis.” The Tarsalis is very distinguishable from most other species but does share some similarities to a few, such as white bans on its legs, a blunt round tipped abdomen, and color. Even though some look similar to the Tarsalis, two differences make the species quite discernible, such as a white ban in the center of the proboscis and a white ban on the back legs that is right in-between two segments (one ban that extends from one segment of the knee to the other) give a Tarsalis its “signature markings”. After we’ve separated out all of the Tarsalis’ we then count them, put them in a new container labeled with the locations we’ve caught them, the date we caught them, and the count number.
– Dustyn Fox 7/21/15
To check which Tarsalis mosquito is positive for West Nile, we get the Tarsalis’ out of the freezer and blend them up in a machine which then it would make it easier to mix chemicals to find out if they have West Nile but that’s not final. After we mix the chemicals and Tarsalis’ together and they are blended, we freeze them for couple hours and put them inside a little machine which will check to see if the Tarsalis mosquito’s are West Nile positive.