HumBug – An Acoustic Mosquito Monitoring Tool for use on budget smartphones
Sinka ME., Zilli D., Li Y., Kiskin I., Kirkham D., Rafique W., Wang L., Chan H., Gutteridge B., Herreros-Moya E., Portwood H., Roberts S., Willis KJ.
Mosquito surveys are time-consuming, expensive and can provide a biased spatial sample of occurrence data—the data often representing the location of the surveys, not the occurrence of the mosquitoes. We present the HumBug project, an acoustic system that can turn any Android smartphone into a mosquito sensor. Our sensor has the potential to significantly increase the quantity of mosquito occurrence data as well as access locations that are more difficult to survey by traditional means. We describe our database of wild-captured mosquito fight tone audio data and outline our mosquito detection algorithms that these data train. We also present our MozzWear App, designed to work on budget smartphones, which, together with our HumBug Net (an adapted traditional bednet), facilitates data collection and allows the user to record and directly upload mosquito flight tones from any dwelling with a bednet in the field. Our HumBug system has the potential to vastly increase our understanding of the distribution of mosquito species in space and time and greatly improve surveys needed to assess the success or failure of ongoing vector control measures. At a time when the WHO reports a plateauing in the decade-long decline in malaria mortality rates, this new technological solution for surveying mosquito vectors will provide a timely new resource.