To determine whether the Culex (Diptera: Culicidae) mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) in the northeastern United States seek hosts and oviposit contemporaneously, we recorded when these mosquitoes attacked caged birds and when they deposited eggs. They traversed oviposition sites most frequently ≈2 h after astronomical sunset, and eggs generally were deposited at that time. Although they most frequently approached avian hosts ≈2 h after sunset during midsummer, they are more opportunistic during mid- to late fall. Because the Culex mosquitoes that serve as the main vectors of West Nile virus in the northeastern United States quest for hosts and seek to oviposit well after sunset, insecticidal aerosols would be most effective when applied at that time.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2