Public Health Vectors and Pests

House Mosquito

Common Name House Mosquito

Scientific Name Culex pipiens
Colour Light brown
  • Culex pipiens is a light brown, medium sized mosquito with a blunt tipped abdomen (body).
  • There are narrow white bands on the body segments but none on the legs or proboscis (beak or biting mouth parts).
  • Males resemble the females, but are easily recognized by their bushy antennae.
Habitat Stagnant water, Polluted streams, catch basins, untended swimming pools and ornamental pools
  • House Mosquitoes have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
  • After an adult female lays her eggs they hatch into larvae (wrigglers) which feed on small organic particles and micro-organisms in the water.
  • About four to six days are required for larval development. At the end of the larval stage, the mosquito molts and becomes the aquatic pupa (tumbler).
  • The pupa is active only if disturbed, for this is the resting stage where the larval form is transformed into the adult.
  • This takes about two days during which time feeding does not occur. When the transformation is completed, the new adult splits the pupal skin and emerges.

Disease Transmitted
  • Wet Nile virus
  • St Louis encephalitis
  • Saint Louis Encephalitis:
    • Fever, severe headache, nausea, and stiff neck.
    • Severe cases may include vomiting, disorientation and paralysis.
  • West Nile Virus:
    • Fever, headache, nausea, body aches and swollen lymph nodes
Type of Damage They also transmit the organisms causing bird malaria, fowl pox, and heartworm of dogs
Sources /  breeding Stagnant water. Polluted streams, catch basins, old paint cans, jars, discarded tires, clogged roof gutters, birdbaths, untended swimming pools and ornamental pools
  • Where possible, sources of standing, fouling water should be eliminated by dumping, filling, pumping, or draining.
  • Temporary containers around the home, such as buckets, flower vases, tubs, and tires should be checked
  • Underground drains or cleanouts should also be checked.
  • Eliminate unnecessary water holding containers, especially tires, large cans and bottles.
  • Keep water clean in children's wading pool and drain when not in use.
  • Keep ditches and streaming adjoining your property free of grass clippings, garbage, and other debris, which will obstruct the natural flow of the water.
  • Keep weeds and grass cut short during the summer months. Report vacant lots that are not maintained properly to city or local officials.
  • Make sure stored boats are covered or water drains out of them completely. Store small boats upside down.
  • Change water in birdbaths, fountains and troughs weekly.
  • Clean roof gutters.
  • Make sure septic waste water does not lie on the ground surface and cesspools are sealed with screened vents.

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