West Umatilla Mosquito Control District

adult mosquitoOnly female mosquitoes require a blood meal and bite animals - warm or cold blooded - and birds. Stimuli that influence biting (blood feeding) include a combination of carbon dioxide, temperature, moisture, smell, color and movement. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but feed on the nectar of flowers or other suitable sugar source. Acquiring a blood meal (protein) is essential for egg production, but mostly both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders. Female Toxorhynchites actually can't obtain a bloodmeal and are restricted to a nectar diet. Of those female mosquitoes capable of blood feeding, human blood meals are seldom first or second choices. Horses, cattle, smaller mammals and/or birds are preferred.

Aedes and Ochlerotatus mosquitoes are painful and persistent biters. They search for a blood meal early in the morning, at dusk (crepuscular feeders) and into the evening. Some are diurnal (daytime biters) especially on cloudy days and in shaded areas. They usually do not enter dwellings, and they prefer to bite mammals like humans. Aedes and Ochlerotatus mosquitoes are strong fliers and are known to fly many miles from their breeding sources.

adult mosquitoCulex mosquitoes are painful and persistent biters also, but prefer to attack at dusk and after dark. They readily enter dwellings for blood meals. Domestic and wild birds usually are preferred over man, cows, and horses. Culex nigripalpus is known to transmit St. Louis encephalitis to man in Florida. Culex mosquitoes are generally weak fliers and do not move far from home, although they have been known to fly up to two miles. Culex usually live only a few weeks during the warm summer months. Those females that emerge in late summer search for sheltered areas where they "hibernate" until spring. Warm weather brings them out again in search of water on which to lay their eggs.

Culiseta mosquitoes are moderately aggressive biters, attacking in the evening hours or in the shade during the day. Psorophora, Coquillettidia and Mansonia mosquitoes are becoming more pestiferous as an ever-expanding human population invades their natural habitats. Anopheles mosquitoes are persistent biters and are the only mosquitoes which transmit malaria to man.

West Umatilla Mosquito Control District

Dedicated to the Protection of Public Health Through the Reduction of Public Health Vectors