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House Mosquito Pest Profile

house_mosquito_02 house_mosquito_01Common Name:
House Mosquito

Scientific Name:
Culex pipiens

Order and Family:
Culicidae, Mosquitoes

Description:
1/8-1/4″ (4-5 mm). Thorax light brown to brownish gray. Abdomen banded white and brown above. Proboscis brown. Wings brown. Male’s antennae more feathery than female’s. Abdomen kept parallel to support although hind legs normally do not rest but are held raised at an angle.

Food:
Male drinks plant juices; female takes blood from birds and mammals, including humans. Larva feeds on microscopic algae.

Life Cycle:
Eggs are deposited in raftlike masses of 100-300 on water surface film. They hatch in 1-5 days. Larvae feed head down in water. They pupate after 1-2 weeks. Adults emerge after a few days. Many generations are possible, the last overwintering as adults.

Habitat:
Near swamps, ponds, lakes and other bodies of stagnant water.

Range:
Throughout North America; subspecies more limited in distribution.

Discussion:
The Northern House Mosquito (C. p. pipiens), found in the northern United States and Canada, is the most common night-flying mosquito. The Southern House Mosquito (C. p. quinquefasciatus) is common in the Southeast, ranging west to California.

Warning: Female mosquitoes suck the blood of mammals, including humans, leaving an itchy wound. Mosquitoes are capable of passing diseases from one host organism to the next, including malaria, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and various types of encephalitis.

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