Nocturnal microhabitat distribution of adult Culex tarsalis (Diptera: Culicidae) impacts control effectiveness

Hugh D. Lothrop, Branka Lothrop, William Reisen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Suction traps (30 cm diameter) were more effective for non-attractant sampling of flying adult Culex tarsalis Coquillett than were smaller CDC (5.5 cm diameter), Malaise or ramp traps. Comparative catch in suction traps operated in a variety of vegetation types indicated that females congregated along elevated ecotones and were significantly less abundant flying over low vegetation or under and over elevated vegetation. Most females taken at upland orchards or Tamarisk tree lines were unfed (97%, n = 5,278) and similar in reproductive condition to host-seeking females. Blood fed and gravid females and males were only abundant near emergence sites. Pyrocide 7396 (Pyrethrin 5%, PBO 25%) was applied at the label rate of 5 oz/ min by truck mounted Pro-Mist ultra low volume (ULV) equipment and particle drift measured by bioassay. ULV particles dispersed well downwind over low vegetation, between citrus orchard rows, and under date orchard canopy, but did not penetrate citrus orchards or vineyards when rows were perpendicular to wind direction. Particles did move up and over vegetation contacting sentinel mosquitoes placed above the canopy. The congregation of adult mosquitoes at vegetative ecotones and within orchard vegetation may afford protection from ground applied ULV particles, negatively impacting control. These data may explain why repeated applications often fail to interrupt encephalitis virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-582
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Entomology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


  • Adult control
  • Culex
  • Microdistribution
  • Non-attractant traps
  • Pyrethrum
  • Ultra low volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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