Impact of salinity, pollutants and organic debris in still water on the life cycle of larval Culex sp and the oviposition site preference of mosquitoes in Bryan-College Station, Texas


  • Elizabeth Anne Nevins Texas A&M University
  • Emily Louise Young
  • Aryana Garza
  • Jeffrey Harris
  • Nicole Hartzoge
  • Kate Biebighauser
  • Kaetlyn Fuchigami
  • Taylor Cook


After major natural disasters, the number of vector-borne diseases increases significantly. In light of recent events in Houston, Texas and surrounding coastal cities due to Hurricane Harvey, a study was created to examine the effects of organic and inorganic pollutants on the breeding site preference and life cycle of mosquitoes. For each part of this experiment, containers of water were prepared with various organic and inorganic pollutants. To study the breeding site preference, these containers were placed outdoors in three residential properties in the Bryan-College Station, Texas community. After a period of 27 days, no data was observed as the cold, frigid weather in the city was not conducive to breeding. In a second study involving the life cycle of mosquitoes, containers containing these same inorganic and organic pollutants were placed indoors. Larval Culex sp mosquitoes were observed for a period of eight days to see how each environment affected their progression. The containers with tap water, distilled water, and organic material saw the most growth of mosquitos, while the containers filled with oil and sodium chloride killed off all of the larval mosquitoes. It was concluded that neither seawater nor an aqueous environment in which there is substantial pollution, specifically oil, are conducive to mosquito growth. However, an overall generalization cannot be made on the effect of pollutants on the life cycle of all mosquitos. Further research will be needed, as the sample size was relatively small and only included one genera of mosquito.


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