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  • Writer's pictureDan English

Capstone Project Day 11

The Host Decoy Trap with the tent, tube, and collection device coved in a sticky film.

It's day two of collection and It’s probably a good time to talk about the trap. The Host Decoy trap is designed to attract mosquitoes by luring them with stimuli that peek a number of their senses. The collection device is filled with warm water so mosquitoes can sense the heat. It's covered in black fabric so that mosquitoes can see a visual contrast with the environment. And it smells like a human (or dog) because a fan is blowing the smells a human (or dog) creates in a tent, through a tube, and onto the collection device. I covered the trap with a sticky film so that mosquitoes can't escape when the land on it.

The trap is getting easier and faster to set up. We are able to heat the water to 76° C usually. The temperature goes down to 28°C by morning. That’s pretty close to the protocol Dr. Hawkes prescribed, I hope it’s close enough. The overnight rains are probably cooling the trap down below 30°C by morning. We’ve also found a cistern on the property of the vacant home. It’s full of fresh water and probably a great breeding ground for Culex. But there are plenty of other brackish, standing water areas on this property that should be good for Anopheles.

So far, the trap is not collecting any Anopheles mosquitoes. Human Landing Catch is getting a few Anopheles from the soccer field. Moving the trap, people and, a dog has been a logistical nightmare. I'm sure it would trap Anopheles if it were able to be tested in the soccer field.

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