PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The dog days of summer are officially here and mosquitoes are on everyone’s mind, but now you have a chance to help NASA fight the spread of mosquitoes.
NASA says there is an app on your phone that can help fight the pesky bugs.
Many of us only think of mosquitoes as annoying pests that bite us in the summer time.
However, there are many places across the country and globe where mosquitoes are more than just a summer time nuisance and NASA is looking for citizen scientists to help them better understand mosquito populations.
We are constantly trying to learn more about the environment that surrounds us and that includes learning about insect populations and how they affect the areas we live.
NASA has developed an app called the Mosquito Habitat Mapper, so you can help them figure out where certain mosquitoes tend to be.
Holli Reibeek a Globe Observer coordinator said, “The idea is, we are trying to figure out where these main breeds are.”
The app allows you to document and photograph mosquitoes and larvae for future use by NASA and other organizations.
Reibeek said, “We are asking you to identify habitat for mosquito breeding.”
This ground level data allows scientists to see what is happening locally rather than just globally.
“It is going into those environmental models to help us go from that very large-scale, here’s the world and satellite data down to a local community that might be having issues with mosquito borne diseases,” she said.
The goal for the app in the long run is for NASA and other organizations to use the local data from the Mosquito Habitat Mapper to reduce the potential for disease outbreaks based on large-scale mosquito populations.
The app is free to download on all Apple and Android devices, and will be the basis of an international experiment being held on November 10th in coordination with International Science Center and Science Museum Day.