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Aren't all mosquitoes the same?

June 2020-Some people may say if you have seen one mosquito you have seen them all but, mosquitoes are much more complex than people give them credit for. In Marin and Sonoma counties we have over 20 different species of mosquitoes, each with their own characteristics such as host preference, biting time, flight distance, vector competence, seasonality of emergence, and preferred habitat type.

Let us take a look at two of the most aggressive biting mosquitoes in our area— the salt marsh mosquito (Aedes dorsalis) and the pale marsh mosquito (Aedes squamiger). Both of these species are only about ¼ of an inch in size, but what makes them stand out from other mosquitoes is their voracious appetite, sometimes flying up to 20 miles in search of a blood meal.

Aedes dorsalis mosquito
Aedes dorsalis mosquito


As the name suggests, these mosquitoes prefer to call salt/tidal marshes and brackish wetlands their homes. They lay eggs on plants or soil where they can stay dormant for up to 10 years, waiting for spring rains and/or high tides to flood them so they can hatch. At times, these mosquitoes emerge as adults by the thousands and cause extreme discomfort and potential injury to nearby residents, livestock, and wildlife. 

Controlling mosquitoes in marshes is not as easy as dumping out containers in your backyard. Mosquito production in marshes is affected by tides, water circulation, and dense vegetation. We work closely with local, state and federal agencies, as well as special interest groups, to manage bodies of water appropriately, clean channels to improve water circulation, and maintain access points for our vector control technicians to perform mosquito surveillance and control when necessary.

Learn more about our Integrated Vector Management:


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