Helping Families Plan to Avoid Mosquitoes
Using over 15 billion weather data points, this new tool can help predict where mosquitoes will be.
Mosquitoes infect more than 700 million people a year with dangerous diseases like Zika, malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever.* That’s why we continue to innovate with products that help families protect themselves from pests and educational programs that help people understand their risk.
In 2021, SC Johnson’s OFF!® and Raid® brands partnered with AccuWeather on a first-of-its-kind “Pest Index” to help families plan for times when common pests might be present in the United States. It offered real-time information about the potential incidence of common bugs like mosquitoes, ticks, ants and roaches.
We took this to the next level in 2022 through a partnership between the OFF!® brand, Google Cloud and Climate Engine. The OFF!Cast Mosquito Forecast™ predicts mosquito outbreaks across the United States, and now in Brazil, using weather inputs like temperature and humidity, historical mosquito population counts, and expertise about mosquito lifecycles.
As Google Cloud Vice President Giusy Buonfantino explained, “Powered by Google Cloud’s geospatial and data analytics technologies, OFF!Cast Mosquito Forecast™ is the world’s first public technology platform that predicts and shares mosquito abundance information. By applying data that’s informed by the science of mosquito biology, OFF!Cast accurately predicts mosquito behavior and mosquito populations in specific geographical locations.”
The predictions are enabled by an algorithm co-developed by our SC Johnson Center for Insect Science and Family Health and Climate Engine, a scientist-led Google Cloud partner that helps integrate Earth science data into new models for decision-making.
Historical mosquito population data is integrated from Vector Base, a U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-funded organization that connects and counts mosquitoes at more than 5,000 trapping locations.
Understanding the forecast
While there’s variability within any zip code, here’s a look at what the forecast colors mean.**
Low/Green. You're safe to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. Is it possible there might be a mosquito lurking about? Sure, but the odds are low and they’re probably not very active.
Medium/Yellow. You don't have to be super concerned - yet. But the conditions are right for some mosquitoes to come out. If you are the cautious type, then using some mosquito protection is a good idea.
High/Orange. The mosquitoes are out and you will want to protect yourself. The weather is warm and wet enough for mosquitoes to become active and look for a yummy meal. Don’t be that meal - protect yourself.
Very High/Red. Time to be even more careful because the prime conditions for mosquitoes have been in-place for several days – likely resulting in even more mosquito activity. Protect yourself before you go outside and bring protection with you just in case you need to re-apply.
Severe/Dark Red. Conditions have been perfect for (at least) the previous 14 days for mosquitoes to become active and breed, which means there are likely to be more of them. Be sure to protect yourself before you leave the house and remember to re-apply protection the longer you are outside; ideally every couple of hours.