In this activity, students study the mosquito life cycle by breeding and observing them and then demonstrate how these data could be used to inform public policy.
Studying and understanding the mosquito life cycle is essential for effective pest control and disease prevention strategies. This activity describes the process for students to rear mosquitoes in chambers, allowing them to make observations through life stages without risking the release of the insects into the classroom. Students record how long it takes for adults to emerge, and calculate the sex ratio. Students also test variables that might affect the life cycle of the mosquito. Although it takes about two weeks for the mosquito life cycle to be completed, observations require only a few minutes each day. Students then analyze their results and propose how these data could be instructive for preventing the spread of infectious disease.
The supplemental “Mosquito Reference Document” includes information and illustrations about the mosquito life cycle. This activity also complements the concepts explored in the Click & Learn Stopping Mosquito-Borne Disease.