Because mosquitoes are a public health concern, several chemical insect repellents have been created and used for many years. While some of these products, such as DEET and permethrin, are effective at controlling mosquito populations, their excessive use may lead to animal, human, and environmental harm if applied improperly. Understanding the life cycles of mosquitoes, their feeding preferences, and their responses to natural plant extracts could enable scientists to develop more environmentally safe but still effective insect repellents. Various types of plant extracts (e.g., American beautyberry, Callicarpa americana) hold promise. In order to study such plant–mosquito interactions, we had to establish basic husbandry practices for successfully rearing and maintaining mosquito populations in the lab. We discuss the protocols we have used for housing mosquitoes and creating plant extracts and offer suggestions for how students can use both for inquiry.
Testing Mosquitoes for Student Inquiry: Husbandry Lessons in the Lab
ERICA KOSAL is Director of the Life Sciences First Year Program and a Teaching Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. When the research was conducted on the Biology Department at North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
BEVERLY ANAELE is a graduate of the Public Health Department at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107; e-mail: email@example.com. When the research was conducted on the Biology Department at North Carolina Wesleyan College, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.
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Erica Kosal, Beverly I. Anaele; Testing Mosquitoes for Student Inquiry: Husbandry Lessons in the Lab. The American Biology Teacher 1 March 2021; 83 (3): 180–184. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2021.83.3.180
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