How to take part in the mosquito census

Watch a video on how to contribute to the mosquito census, and read our simple step-by-step instructions. 

We’ve convinced you to take part in the mosquito census. What next?

Catch some mosquitoes

We need intact, unsquashed, mosquitoes so we can tell what species they are. So you need to catch them carefully.

This is easier to do if you find them in your home. You can simply use a drinking glass, place it over the top of the mozzie and slip some flat paper underneath.

If you’re outside, grab a small container, place it over the top of the mozzie and put the lid on quickly. Make sure there is no residue water in the container too as this might ruin the sample.

If you have found larvae wriggling in water, just scoop them up with a ladle or cup.

We’d love lots of specimens from rural areas so if you're out on a tramp or a hunt bring some containers with you!

Freeze it

Now place your glass and paper, or the container, in the freezer to put the mosquito to sleep. It’s best to leave it overnight so it’s fully chilled. Only take it out when you’re ready to send it to us in a small container.

If you’ve found a mosquito larva then there’s no need to freeze it. Just replace the water with some spirits – such as vodka.

Fill in the mosquito census form for each specimen

Fill in this form. Here, you’ll give details about where you found your mosquito/mosquitoes.

When you complete the form, you’ll be provided with a unique number for your mosquito. Make sure you label your specimen with this number (especially if you’re sending multiple specimens in the same parcel!).

A person uses their phone to fill in a form

Caption

Filling in the mosquito census form, 2019. Te Papa

The container for sending

You can use anything from a matchbox to a pillbox, contact lens case to a small ice-cream tub. Don’t use tape – if the mozzie touches the tap when we take it out we might not be able to use the specimen. 

Person holding a mosquito between some tweezers

Caption

Putting a mosquito in a container to send to Te Papa, 2019. Photo by Rachael Hockridge. Te Papa

Send it

Post your mosquito/mosquitoes free of charge to:

Attention: Mosquito census
Te Papa 
PO BOX 467 
Wellington
FREE POST number 121326 
REF: [The unique number/numbers you're provided]

We’ll be in touch!

Once receiving your specimen we'll be in touch within 5 working days to tell you what species you found!