Scientists are buzzing about a better way to track disease-carrying mosquitoes, according to a recent Environmental News Network article. The Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus species carry untreatable viruses like chikungunya and dengue, which can be fatal for the elderly and young children.
To locate the harmful insects, scientists used a computer model to create maps. The program mapped potential mosquito havens based on temperature, plant life, annual rainfall extremes and the level of land development. Previous models only considered temperature in their predictions.
The researchers then measured their model against a mosquito database of over 40,000 records. They found areas considered at low risk for mosquito inhabitation were actually high risk. They are urging public health officials to investigate those areas first.