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Arizona mosquitoes 101: The different species and how to protect yourself

Posted: 10:55 AM, Aug 17, 2021
Updated: 2021-08-17 13:55:48-04
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Did you know there are over 40 species of mosquitoes in Arizona?

With the increase in monsoon storms this year, you're likely seeing them around your home.

Here's a quick guide on which mosquitoes are dangerous, which ones are simply a nuisance, and how you can protect yourself.

The following info was provided by the Arizona Department of Health Services

Which type spreads diseases?

Of the several species in Arizona, only certain kinds can carry diseases:

  • Culex : Carrier of diseases such as West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis
Culex Mosquito

  • Aedes aegypti: Has the ability to spread diseases such as yellow fever and Zika
Aedes mosquito.jpg

  • Psorophora columbiae: Do not carry diseases, but are aggressive biters
Psorophora group.jpg

How can I protect myself?

ADHS says the best way to protect yourself from mosquito bites is to use an EPA-registered repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and have door and window screens installed to keep the insect out of your home.

How do I keep them away from my home?

The best way to keep mosquitoes away from your home is to cover areas that can hold water. "Mosquitoes lay their eggs near water. Some species only need small amounts of water, such as the amount that can accumulate in flower pots, buckets, bird baths, and children’s toys," ADHS says.

  • At least once a week, empty and scrub, toss or cover any items that can hold water.
  • Keep your yard clean and clear from debris, to reduce potential breeding sites.
  • If you cannot dump the water (and it’s not drinking water), consider treating it with larvicides, like Mosquito Dunks.

How many West Nile Virus (WNV) cases are in Arizona?

At the time this article was written, 13 WNV cases have been reported, according to ADHS. All of those cases were discovered in Maricopa County.


Is there a vaccine to prevent mosquito-borne diseases?

ADHS says there are "very few" diseases that mosquitos carry that have vaccines approved for human use. "The most effective way to protect yourself is with protection from mosquitoes themselves.