Mozzie Monitors research aims to combat diseases borne by mosquito, such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus

Mozzie Monitors research aims to combat diseases borne by mosquito, such as Ross River virus and Barmah Forest virus


June 17, 2019 14:26:41

Emily Flies and her two children in the Hobart house courtyard are helping research to combat mosquito-carriers diseases.

Key points:

  • Volunteers accompanying mosquitoes in their courtyard and photographing the insects are dead for researchers t
  • It is part of a citizen science project called Mozzie Monitors which aims to control mosquito-borne diseases.
  • More than 8,000 mosquitoes are engaged for research

In the past year, Kepler of the Big Mile looked four years old and Kepler two years of age on his mom trap mosquitoes and a photograph of dead insects for researchers at the University of South Australia.

The family is one of 50 regular contributors to the Mozzie Monitors project, led by Professor Craig Williams from the University of South Australia.

Citizens in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania made a photograph of about 8,000 mosquitoes from 12 different breeds.

"The ultimate goal is to reduce the burden on mosquito-borne diseases," said Professor Associate Williams.

"You can use large insecticide treatment, you can bring treated beds to people, government agencies can come in and mosquitoes trap and control.

"The thing we are trying to do is to encourage and educate individuals so that they can not do their own monitoring, but also to control their own mosquito."

The research team reviews the photographs and identifies the saddles to determine the health risks present, as all mosquito types could carry specific viruses such as Ross River Forest and Barmah.

"The research has two main objectives. The head of the mosquito surveillance network is to expand, so it aims to identify the mosquito species that are affecting humans so that we can devise strategies to reduce the risk of disease. said nuisance, "Associate Professor Williams said.

"The other major aim is public education and improving public health literacy in people."

Catch the mozzies

Ms Flies' mosquito trap is a water filled bucket which has a raised lid with a hole in it.

The mosquitoes fly into the trap, they cannot go back and die, falling onto a number resting over the water.

"I was the person responsible for making sure that we did the trap in the right way and we took pictures of the mosquitoes that were there," Mr Flies said.

"I didn't really trap enough mosquitoes, which was surprising because we saw the barns.

"I think we were losing some of our mosquitoes caught with the ants."

It is a great opportunity for Flies family to take part in research that could help others.

"It is very exciting, I think, that this could be used to help places where Zika, yellow fever and dignity is a real problem for people," she said.

Monitor mozzies with app, not a trap

The research is completed by the research and the next step, in SA, NSW and WA, will involve a mobile phone app without a mosquito trap.

The team hopes that citizen scientists will be able to photograph the mosquitoes without capturing them and providing information on where the insects were found.

A year later, the plan is to bring the project abroad.

"We look forward to implementing this program in Brazil, a very diverse social and economic environment, and a mosquito environment," said Associate Professor Williams.

"So we expect to be able to work in another language with a very different group of people in another country.

"I think that when we do that and when we established that feasibility, then we hope to convince people that this is a low cost way for communities to solve their own health surveillance."

Will it work?

Peter Cayley, researcher with CSIRO's Data61 analyst program, Peter Cayley, said citizen science projects had been successful.

"Mobile phones and smartphones have made great strides in developing countries and this is a very successful way of gathering information from citizens in a range of areas," he said.

However, Mr Cayley said it would be a challenge to encourage people to report scenes.

"They'll find an insect that is extremely interesting looking and is very colorful or interesting and they want to know what it is, so they upload to these apps," he said.

"The challenge for the Mozzie Monitors program is that mosquitoes are generally undesirable for the types of things that would generate a photo collection. [of].

"So the challenge for this type of biosecurity is to get people out to use the application and to collect the information you need and keep them motivated."


animal science,

pesticide and control methods, t

invertebrates — insect-and-arthritis, t

medical research, t

academic research, t

diseases and disorders, t


dengue fever,


disease control,

medical sciences, t

disease control methods,

control methods,









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