Insects, vectors explored with grand opening of museum


The mosquito has had a place in the history of the state of Florida since the beginning and now there is a museum where that history is on display as well as the research that is taking place moving forward.

The Anastasia Mosquito Control District held the grand opening of its vector education center and science museum on March 26.

The museum is located at 120 EOC Drive in St. Augustine and the city’s mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline was also on hand to welcome the center to the community.

According to Anastasia Mosquito Control District commissioner Trish Becker, the idea for the museum has been in the process of becoming a reality since 2018 and it had been planned to already be in place but was pushed back for a while due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a process and has been a big part of our five-year plan,” Becker said. “We really wanted this to be a place where it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can come here and learn something, and it has gone way beyond what we even imagined.”

Although mosquitos are a primary focus and steal the show in a sense, they are not the only insects explored throughout the museum’s tour.

“We start talking about other bugs and vectors, especially the bad ones because they are becoming more and more invasive, and the first step in protection and knowing what to do to protect yourself,” Becker said. “That’s why it’s so important to educate.”

Part of the education has already begun, as they are now open to the public, but the education center has already begun offering itself as a location for field trips of local schools.

“We’ve already had a lot of schools,” Becker said. “I was here three times last week and it was homeschool week so they were all coming. The kids don’t want to leave, which I think is great, because we already do about 150 school visits a year, and it’s all about showing that science can be cool.”

One of the unique aspects that the education center can offer that going to a school cannot is that there are a couple of glass rooms where museumgoers can watch as scientists work with different breeds of mosquitos.

It is the interactive displays and real-life scenarios that Becker believes makes the museum so unique from other facilities out there.

The education center and museum is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission will be free until the official opening on July 10.

For more information, please contact the vector education and science museum at 904-257-9880.

Anastasia Mosquito Control District, vector education center, grand opening