Mosquito-eating insects may be coming to a neighborhood near you in 2020.
Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative is recruiting citizen scientists to adopt a pod of native “mosquito assassins” and report the results. The research will help Anita Schiller, the director of Precinct 4’s Biological Control Initiative, and her team of scientists learn how to more efficiently introduce mosquito assassins into communities.
Participants will receive mosquito assassin larvae in a clear, biodegradable container filled with everything the insects need to survive until maturity. Citizen scientists must commit approximately three weeks to the experiment.
As larvae, the insects help control mosquito populations by eating hundreds of immature mosquitoes per day. By adulthood, the insects take flight and begin seeking a mate to restart the cycle.
To participate, pick up a predator pod on March 7 at Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center. Visitors can stop by the Biological Control Initiative booth during NatureFest.