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Please watch the video above or follow the steps below to set up your trap and collect eggs:
Once you are registered on our zika-mozzie-seeker website you will receive a free ‘mozzie egg collection kit in the post. This kit provides most items you need to create a mozzie egg trap. You just supply a container and water.The kit will be mailed out when the next Round of trapping starts. Further instructions on DIY ovitrap kit assembly construction are below, including a video (above), are on the website. If you have any questions about the project please send an email to MSPHU-Med-Ent@health.qld.gov.au
You will receive a free 'mozzie egg collection kit' in the post. This contains most of the items you need to create a 'mozzie egg trap':
Lucerne pellets – add one to water to help attract female domestic mosquitoes
Paper 'egg collection strip' – female domestic mosquitoes will lay eggs on the strip (one per trap). This ‘egg strip’ will be sent to the laboratory for testing.
Paper clip – to attach the paper strip to the water container if necessary.
Blotting paper – to soak up excess water (do not rub!) from the egg strip before sending in the eggs.
Sealable bag – the damp egg collection strip will be placed in this sealed bag to keep the envelope dry.
Pre-addressed envelope – insert the sealable bag (containing the damp egg strip) into this envelope and post it back to us for testing (the postage is paid).
To collect mosquito eggs you need to create a basic egg trap, known as an 'ovitrap', where urban mozzies like to breed. Most of the items you need are supplied in the free 'DIY Ovitrap' we have sent you. However, you will need to supply a suitable plastic container, such as one from your recycling bin. Dark containers are most attractive to domestic, or urban, mozzies.
If you don’t have a dark container, you can place your container inside something darker, like a black plant pot bucket (Shown in photo B below)
Follow the steps below to assemble a DIY ovitrap:
Select your container: Something large (e.g. 2 L) like a plastic milk carton, soft drink bottle or ice cream bucket is ideal (see A, below), because it is less likely to fall over and won’t dry out.
Dark containers are most attractive to domestic, or urban, mozzies. If you don’t have a dark container, you can place your container inside something darker, like a black plant pot bucket (see B below).
A. Container Examples
Now you can assemble your ovitrap, then wait a few weeks before sending in the ‘egg collection strip’ when you follow these steps to assemble your ovitrap. This resource is made available from an National Science Week 2020 grant, sponsored by the Australian Government.
Please remember to position your bucket where it will not be impacted by rain. This will prevent any of the eggs from hatching. Alternatively, simply empty and refill the bucket each week. This will tip out any larvae that may be in the bucket.
Thank you for being a 'Zika Mozzie Seeker' and supporting this important research. In the next few weeks we will send you results about the eggs found in your trap. Look out for an email and SMS message.
We use DNA analysis to test whether the eggs contain mozzie species that can potentially carry Zika or dengue viruses (Aedes aegypti). Your eggs will be pooled with others in your area to provide a group result.
At the end of the process we will give you results about the number and type of mozzie eggs found in your trap. We aim to produce a "heat" map showing the level of mozzie activity in your area.
If 'Zika mozzies' are identified in a particular group result, we will contact all participants from that group. Emergency eradication will take place wherever such mosquitoes are detected.
Once egg trapping begins you will receive up to six email and/or SMS messages (if you provided a mobile number) throughout the project to help you manage your ‘Zika Mozzie Seeking’:
1 Receipt of 'egg collection kit': a chance to confirm whether you received your ‘egg collection kit’.
2 Reminder 1: after one week (7 days), we’ll remind you to check your trap for progress collecting mozzie eggs or set up your trap if you haven’t done so already.
3 Reminder 2: after two weeks (14 days), we’ll remind you to return your ‘egg collection strip’ to us if there are mozzie eggs on it, or leave your trap out for another week (optional) if you can’t see any mozzie eggs yet.
4 Reminder 3: a final prompt to return your ‘egg collection strip’ to us, if you haven’t done so already, even if there are no eggs on it.
5 Results: where to find info about the number of eggs collected in your trap and mozzie activity in your area, including our online 'mozzie map'.