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Mosquitoes are insects that are related to flies. There are approximately forty different species of mosquitoes in Collier County. However, the Collier Mosquito Control District (CMCD) only focuses on three species for control purposes. These species include: Culex nigripalpus, Ochlerotatus taeniorhynchus, and Psorophora columbiae. The District concentrates on controlling these particular species because they are either a severe biting nuisance or a disease vector.

The species Cx. nigripalpus is the primary vector of St. Louis encephalitis (SLE). Cx. nigripalpus is the dominant species of mosquito in wastewater ponds and lagoons in southwest Florida and can also be found in water high in organic matter. Females lay egg rafts on the water surface and the eggs hatch within a few days. This species feeds primarily on birds but does bite humans. It is a species that is specifically targeted for control when the population becomes large or there is the possibility of SLE transmission from birds to humans.

Oc. taeniorhynchus and Ps. columbiae are the two major nuisance mosquitoes in the district. Both species lay their eggs on moist substrates, such as soil, that must be flooded in order for the eggs to hatch. Oc. taeniorhynchus is a salt marsh mosquito and lays its eggs on moist substrates with a high salt content. Ps. columbiae, on the other hand, is found in freshwater sites such as roadside ditches and retention ponds. Because Florida is prone to heavy rains in the summer, as well as tidal flooding, both species are capable of proliferating quickly in massive numbers. The large numbers, the fact that they blood feed on mammals, and are extremely aggressive biters, makes them a tremendous nuisance to residents of the District.