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New Mosquito Species in Florida: Culex Lactator

In May 2018, a new mosquito species was discovered by scientists in Florida. This species, known as Culex lactator, has made itself a permanent home in Miami-Dade, Collier, and Lee counties. This is the sixth new species of mosquito discovered in the past 6 years, 3 of which have already been linked to disease transmission. As new mosquito species continue to increase at an alarming rate, it's more important than ever to protect your family from vector-borne diseases. Keep reading as we break down everything you need to know about Culex lactator. 

What is the Culex lactator?

Culex lactator is a native mosquito species from Central and South America. Although it is unclear how this species arrived in the U.S., researchers believe that tropical storms and hurricanes may play a factor in their migration. This mosquito is a member of the Culex family, which can commonly be found all over the world–including the U.S. The larvae and adult mosquitoes exhibit similar characteristics found in the Culex family, such as resting behavior and eggs being laid in rafts on the water's surface. Other than that, the only noticeable differences are based on DNA sequencing that has been compared to non-native species.

How serious is a new mosquito species? 

Many mosquito species pose a serious health threat and are common carriers of deadly diseases. In recent years, new mosquito introductions have increased at an alarming rate and it can be difficult for research to keep up with the pace. Warming climates across the globe have allowed non-native species to maintain a thriving foothold in non-native environments. Researchers have not determined the feeding and breeding behavior of Culex lactator, making it difficult to establish the future spread of this species. As researchers continue to study this new mosquito species, we hope to learn more about Culex lactators' impact in the U.S.

Culex lactator mosquito on skin

Diseases Carried by Culex lactator

At this time, it is unclear if Culex lactator can be a vector for mosquito-borne diseases. The Culex family are known vectors of West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, filariasis, and avian malaria. Despite its genus, not all mosquito species are equally capable of attaining, carrying, and transmitting disease pathogens. More research is needed to determine if Culex lactator is a disease threat. 

Protect your family from mosquitoes

Protecting your family from mosquitoes doesn't have to be complicated. Follow these simple steps to reduce your chances of being bitten:

  • Apply EPA-registered repellents as directed by the label. These include DEET, picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Wear closed-toed shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and pants that are light in color. 
  • Use fans during outdoor activities–this makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to reach their host.
  • Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Remove any standing water that can become a mosquito breeding habitat. This includes flower pots, plastic pools, rain gutters, etc. 
  • Reduce exterior lighting. 
  • Keep grass and vegetation cut short. 

When it comes to mosquitoes, prevention is key. If you’re experiencing large swarms or an infestation of mosquitoes on your property, it’s time to turn to a professional. At Ehrlich, we offer a service that targets areas where adult mosquitoes are most likely to rest and breed. Our technicians use a polymer coated product that can last up to 90 days based on weather conditions and can be reapplied on a monthly basis. This ensures your home is protected throughout the mosquito breeding season. 

Ehrlich technician with clients outside of a home

Ehrlich Pest Control Services for Mosquito Prevention

Looking for mosquito prevention that you can trust? Ehrlich Pest Control is here to help. Our local technicians can protect your home and family from mosquitoes–even Culex lactator

Contact your local Ehrlich Pest Control office to discuss our mosquito control methods and treatments today.

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