Director: David Fiess, MPA Phone: (260) 449-7459 FAX: (260) 449-7460 Email: dave.fiess@allencounty.us
Location: 2242 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46818 Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Meet the Staff: Josh Blauvelt, BS, CHHS, Asst. Director; Tom McCue, BS, Env. Health Specialist II; Francis Koch, Env.Technician; Pat De Haven, Secretary; Seasonal Mosquito Technicians

Mosquitoes - Biology

Mosquitoes are small, long-legged, two-winged insects belonging to the order Diptera.  Worldwide, there are over 2,600 known species.  In Indiana, fifty-three species have been identified.  In Allen County, forty species of mosquitoes have been identified.

Mosquitoes have four distinct stages of development:  egg, larvae, pupae, and adult.  Eggs must be in water in order to hatch.  Larvae and pupae are aquatic; adults are active, free-flying insects.

Male mosquitoes emerge from the pupal stage about twenty-four hours before the females.  Mating occurs within forty-eight hours, so the majority of females in any population are always fertile.  Both females and males utilize nectar and other plant juices as energy sources; only females take a blood meal, utilizing the protein to produce eggs.

Mosquitoes can be placed into two categories.  One category consists of mosquito species that lay their eggs on the surface of water, while the other category is mosquitoes that lay their eggs on a moist surface next to or above water.  Mosquitoes in the second category can be labeled "floodwater" mosquitoes.  They will hatch when the water covers the eggs and the conditions are correct.  An example is eggs are layed on wet leaves next to a low area in the middle of the woods.  A heavy rain fills up the low area and the eggs are covered.  If the temperature is warm enough, the eggs hatch.  If there is no rain, the eggs are protected by a hard cover and may survive up to ten years.  The majority of nuisance mosquitoes are floodwater species, such as Aedes vexans and Psorophora ciliataAedes triseriatus, a vector of LaCrosse Encephalitis, lays her eggs along the insides of treeholes and artificial containers.

Surface egg-laying mosquitoes deposit their eggs singly or in rafts that may hold 100 to 200 eggs.  Culex species lay egg rafts on water in clogged gutters, tires, birdbaths, dried-up ditches, and un-maintained swimming pools.  Anopheles species lay several single eggs on open bodies of water. 

Mosquitoes also differ in the time of day when biting occurs.  Some species bite during the day, while others only bite at night.  Aedes triseriatus is a day-time biter, while Culex pipiens is a dusk to dawn biter.

 

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Photo Gallery

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  • Trina Riecke, Lead Case Manager, conducts a developmental assessment of a lead-poisoned child.
  • Lucky the Lead Free Lemur is a mascot of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.  He appears at health fairs and other events to promote lead prevention.
  • This engorged American Dog Tick was pulled off a human.  To prevent tick attachment, wear light-colored clothing, long pants with the bottoms placed into the top of socks, and apply a DEET-product to your clothing.  Check your clothing and body after exiting a high grass or wooded area.
  • De-rimmed tires breed mosquitoes and can provide drinking water for rats.  Culex species, ones that can carry WNv, and Ae. triseriatus, carrier of LaCrosse Encephalitis, use tires as a habitat when in the larval form.  The sun heats the black rubber allowing for increased mosquito production, even when it is cool out.  Tires should be properly disposed of or covered to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • A female Culex mosquito laying an egg raft, which can consist of 200-300 eggs.
  • A blood sample to be tested for lead is taken from a capillary in the tip of the finger.
  • Mold needs water to grow.  Remove the water source and there won't be a mold problem.
  • The American dog tick is the largest tick in Indiana and can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Children enjoy meeting Lucky the Lead Free Lemur.
  • Sticky traps are a great tool to catch cockroaches.
  • Trina Riecke educates a citizen about how to maintain a healthy and safe home.
  • Rats like to eat grease, as can be seen in the pan on the stove.
  • Educating the public on Vector-borne diseases is an on-going effort.
  • Ae. triseriatus, a carrier of LaCrosse Encephalitis, lays her eggs in treeholes and containers.
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Cockroach infestation in kitchen cabinet.
  • Mosquitofish can be placed into ornamental ponds to eat mosquito larvae.  The fish only get to be an inch in length.
  • Un-maintained swimming pools are perfect for breeding the mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus.
  • Double whammy for mosquito breeding - uncovered boat with un-rimmed tire in it.
  • Notice the pop can the rats tried pulling into a burrow.
  • This rat ate poison bait stored in a secure station.
  • Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become infected if scratched too much.
  • Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Free radon test kits are available at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health.
  • Ingredients taken from a meth lab that was found in a house.
Did You Know?

Lead poisoning can cause brain damage in young children.