Regular surveillance of both immature and adult mosquitoes is important because it provides us with information that is crucial to an effective control program. Surveillance programs determine where, when, how many, and which species of mosquito are likely to be encountered.

Routine larval surveillance is accomplished with a dipper and a plastic cup attached to the end of a thin pole. Larval breeding areas are sampled by dipping the cup into the water and inspecting it for mosquito larvae. Inspections are performed on several types of sources, including marshes, ditches, creeks, canals, catch basins, neglected fish ponds or hot tubs.

For adult mosquitoes, a specialized trap called an EVS (encephalitis vector surveillance) trap is usually used. These battery powered devices use dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) as an attractant, and operate a fan that collects live adult mosquitoes into a bag. Each location is usually trapped every two weeks, from March through October. The most commonly encountered mosquito species in Albany where we used to perform surveillance were Culiseta incidens, Culex tarsalis, and Culex pipiens.

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