Northeast District Mosquito Species List of Concern

There are about 51 mosquito species present in Massachusetts, however only about 12 species, at this time, are associated with arboviral activity in Massachusetts and are targeted for control. Other species are listed as nuisance/pest species and can reduce the overall quality of life and recreation during a specific time of year.


Aedes vexans – Is a common nuisance mosquito. Temporary flooded areas such as woodland pools and natural depressions are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on mammals and is an aggressive human biter. This species is typically collected from May to October. Ae. vexans is a bridge vector of EEE virus.

Anopheles punctipennis – Is found occasionally in the spring and summer. This pest of humans has a mildly annoying bite. The larvae are found in a wide variety of wetlands including permanent swamps and along the edges of ponds and slow moving streams. An. punctipennis has been implicated as a bridge vector of WNV.

Anopheles quadrimaculatus – Is a common summer mosquito. A pest of humans and other mammals that readily enters houses and has a mildly annoying bite. The population increases during the summer. The larvae are found in clear water amongst low vegetation or floating debris, in permanent swamps and along the edges of ponds and slow moving streams. An. quadrimaculatus has been implicated as a bridge vector of WNV.

Coquillettidia perturbans – Cattail marshes are the primary larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on both birds and mammals. It is a persistent human biter and one of the most common mosquitoes in Massachusetts. This species is typically collected from June to September. Cq. perturbans is a bridge vector of EEE and WNV.

Culex pipiens – Artificial containers are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on birds and occasionally on mammals. It will bite humans, typically from dusk into the evening. This species is regularly collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters as an adult in manmade structures. Cx. pipiens is the primary vector of WNV.

Culex restuans – Natural and artificial containers are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on birds and occasionally on mammals. This species is typically collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters as an adult in man-made structures. Cx. restuans has been implicated as a vector of WNV.

Culex salinarius – Brackish and freshwater wetlands are the preferred habitat of this mosquito. It feeds on birds, mammals, and amphibians and is well known for biting humans. This species is typically collected from May to October but can be found year round as it readily overwinters as an adult in natural and manmade structures. Cx. salinarius may be involved in the human transmission of both WNV and EEE.

Culiseta melanura and Cs. morsitans – Swamp mosquitoes that occur in Atlantic White Cedar Swamps – hardwood floodplains and other aquatic habitats characterized by low pH. The larvae often are found within subterranean pockets that are difficult to treat with conventional larvicide agents. Cs. melanura almost exclusively obtains its blood meals from birds, and is our primary vector in the amplification of EEE in our area. It has also been found to carry WNV.

Oclerotatus abserratus and Oc. punctor – Are a very common early spring to early summer mosquito pest of humans and other mammals. Larvae are found in temporary spring pools and margins of permanent waters in April. Readily bites in shaded areas during the day.

Ochlerotatus canadensis – Shaded woodland pools are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on birds and mammals but is also known to take blood meals from amphibians and reptiles. This mosquito can be a fierce human biter near its larval habitat. This species is typically collected from May to October. Oc. canadensis is a bridge vector of eastern equine encephalitis EEE virus.

Ochlerotatus cantator – This salt-marsh mosquito is a fairly large mosquito that can be a serious pest along the immediate coast from late spring to mid-summer. It is active during both daytime and nighttime periods, and can fly great distances from its original source.

Ochlerotatus excrusians and Oc. stimulans – Are freshwater spring snowmelt mosquitoes. Larvae develop in temporary or semi-permanent woodland pools. The females will bite in the woods any time of day, but are most active in the evening. They are aggressive and long-lived pests.

Ochlerotatus sollicitans – The “brown salt-marsh mosquito” is a fairly large mosquito that can be a serious pest along the immediate coast from early summer into fall. It is active during both daytime and nighttime periods, and can fly great distances from its original source. It has been reported to carry EEE in the northeastern US.

Ochlerotatus japonicus – Natural and artificial containers such as tires, catch basins, and rock pools are the preferred larval habitat of this mosquito. It feeds mainly on mammals and is an aggressive human biter. This species is typically collected from May to October. Oc. japonicus may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.

Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus – The “black salt-marsh mosquito” is a nuisance mosquito species that is capable producing tremendous numbers of adults after coastal flooding events caused by rains or extreme high tides. Oc. taeniorynchus may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.

Ochlerotatus triseriatus – Is also a pest of humans and other mammals. Most of these larvae are found in tire casings although some are found in other shaded artificial containers and in tree holes. When this mosquito is a pest its breeding source is usually close by. Oc. triseriatus may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.

Psorophora ferox – The “white footed woods mosquito” is also a pest of humans and other mammals. Most of these larvae are found in floodwater areas and temporary woodland pools during the summer. It is active during both daytime, near its breeding site, and nighttime periods.  Ps. ferox may be involved in the transmission of both WNV and EEE.