The process for weed and mosquito monitoring is generally simple.
Materials this app need to be successful in the field are as follows:
- a record book for file lists and names
- maps of the municipalities for proper orientation
- an IPad and ideally a mobile hot-spot. The app will work best when connected to the internet.
- pens and highlighters
- Weed identification books
Steps and tricks for Weed Inspection:
Steps and Tricks for Mosquito Monitoring:
Sampling Larval Mosquitoes
Dipping for mosquito larvae may, at first, seem like a very simple thing to do. After all, who hasn't dipped water from a bucket or stream to quench a thirst or cool the top of one's head? Well, think again. Dipping for mosquito larvae is not dipping to take a drink. There are a number of steps to take to ensure that your are getting the correct samples for you populations and to make sure you can actually be successful in finding the larva that are present.
When searching for mosquito larvae, proceed slowly and carefully. Approach the area with caution to avoid disturbing larvae at the water's surface. Vibrations from heavy footsteps, casting a shadow or moving vegetation that contacts the water may be enough to cause larvae to dive to the bottom. Try to approach the water while facing the sun and with quiet, slow, soft steps, gently move vegetation only as necessary.
Mosquito larvae of most genera, particularly the common Culex, Aedes and Anopheles, are usually found at the water's surface and frequently next to vegetation or surface debris. In larger pools and ponds, they are usually near the margins, not in open, deep water. Dipping should be concentrated around floating debris and aquatic and emergent vegetation.
If there is a strong wind, dipping should be done on the windward side of the habitat where larvae and pupae will be most heavily concentrated. Look for larvae and pupae before beginning to dip, if possible. If it is raining on the water's surface, get back in the truck, go have a cup of coffee and wait until the rain stops.
Methods for dipping:
1) The first and usually the best method to start with is the SHALLOW SKIM. The shallow skim consists of submerging the leading edge of the dipper, tipped about 45 degrees, about an inch below the surface of the water and quickly, but gently, moving the dipper along a straight line in open water or in water with small floating debris.
2)The SIMPLE SCOOP is the "dipping to get water" method that was discouraged earlier. It consists of simply scooping a dipperful of water. This is probably the most commonly used method, particularly by new inspectors, and it is often the method referred to in much of the literature as "the standard dipping procedure." While it can be successfully used to collect Culex larvae, it is still not the method of choice.
3)In very shallow water, try the FLOW-IN method. Larvae can be collected by pushing the dipper into the substrate of the pool and letting the shallow surface water, debris and larvae flow into the dipper. Do not move the dipper horizontally.