LOCAL NEWS

USU Researcher Tracking Mosquitoes With Satellite Photos

Mar 24, 2021, 6:29 PM | Updated: 8:44 pm

LOGAN, Utah – A researcher at Utah State University has started tracking disease-carrying mosquitoes with the help of satellite photos.

The high-tech photos, combined with good old-fashioned research on the ground, can predict the pests’ movement.

It won’t be long before the mosquitoes start hatching. They are always annoying, but some are worse than others.

“For this paper, we’re looking at Aedes aegypti,” said Norah Saarman.

She said the Aedes aegypti can bring a lot of dangerous and widespread diseases like dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus.

Saarman has examined their migration pattern.

Along with researchers at UC Davis and Yale, the team collected and mapped genetic data, something Saarman described as a family tree for mosquitos.

“And if we know where the ancestry is tracking across the landscape, then we can much more efficiently plan exactly where we do those releases or where it is safe to try it out,” she said.

Meaning where to try out treatments that have been effective in controlling mosquito populations and protecting humans from disease.

The ancestry data is combined with one more factor. “So these black dots are where we’ve collected mosquitos,” Saarman said.

NASA satellite map. (Mike Anderson/KSL-TV)

The dots are from satellite maps, mostly from NASA, that share data like rainfall, habitats and the impact of humans on the landscape. Unfortunately, a lot of the pests migrate by traveling with us.

“We’re really excited because the method was so successful — like, we got such a good measure of predictability,” Saarman explained.

The process has been about 83% accurate so far.

As of now, the Aedes aegypti has not made it into Utah, but it is nearing the southern border.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Verdict was reached in the Chad Daybell murder trial on May 30, 2024...

Eliza Pace and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

Jury reaches verdict in murder trial of Chad Daybell

A verdict has been reached in the murder trial of Chad Daybell. The jury's decision will be read at 2 p.m. MST.

3 hours ago

desert lands with a long line of cars waiting on a closed road...

Mary Culbertson

San Juan County crash kills motorcyclist on US 191

A motorcyclist was killed after colliding with the side of a pickup truck in Moab.

3 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

Jury asks judge about missing instruction on murder charge for Chad Daybell

There was some confusion the Ada County Courthouse this morning when the jury in the murder trial of Chad Daybell noticed critical instructions were missing. 

3 hours ago

(Stuart Johnson, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

Pickup truck crashes into Provo duplex

Police are asking drivers to avoid the area of 900 East and 200 North in Provo after a truck crashed into a home Thursday morning.

5 hours ago

...

Kyle Ireland

Miller Sports + Entertainment releases renderings for Daybreak field ballpark

Miller Sports + Entertainment unveiled renderings for the new home of the Salt Lake Bees in South Jordan, Daybreak Field.

6 hours ago

(Janna-Lee Holland, Provo Police Department)...

Josh Ellis

Man injured after SUV crashes into Provo car dealership

A 28-year-old man was seriously injured after police say he crashed his SUV into the lot of a car dealership in north Provo.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

USU Researcher Tracking Mosquitoes With Satellite Photos