Landscape and climatic factors regulate distributions of mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) over time and space. The anthropogenic control of mosquito populations is often carried out at a local administrative scale, and it is applied based on the relevant agency’s experiential knowledge rather than systematic analysis of spatial and temporal data. To address this shortcoming, a spatial and temporal analysis of landscape and climatic parameters in relation to mosquito populations in Black Hawk County, IA, USA, has been carried out. Adult mosquito sampling took place using CDC light traps from May to August 2003 in representative landscapes. Mosquitoes were identified to species level with Aedes trivittatus (Coquillet) and Aedes vexans (Meigen) dominating the collection totals. The best publicly available spatial data on landscape and demographic attributes were collated and included land cover, human census, soils, floodplain, elevation, wetlands, hydrography, roads, and vegetation indices derived from satellite imagery. Spatial processing was carried out to organize landscape attributes for statistical comparison with abundance data from the potentially important West Nile virus (family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, WNV) vector species Ae. vexans and Ae. trivittatus. Landscape parameters shown to be significantly correlated with mosquito counts included soil hydrological properties, presence in floodplain, wetland areas, and deciduous and bottomland forest cover. Data on temperature and precipitation were used to investigate the climatic influence on the temporal occurrence of mosquito population abundances. Late spring rain provided ample moisture for mosquito development, but low temperatures delayed widespread emergence of Ae. trivittatus and Ae. vexans until June 2003. Landscape and climatic impacts on adult mosquito population distributions were demonstrated, and these results could form the basis for the development of a spatiotemporal modeling framework that would inform anthropogenic mosquito control and vector-borne disease surveillance. A qualitative discussion concerning Culex pipiens (L.) and Culex restuans Theobald is included.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6