Field studies were conducted in southwestern Virginia to determine the ovipositional preferences of Culex restuans and Culex pipiens by using ovitraps and gravid traps baited with selected infusions. For the ovitrap collections, 4 different infusions (manure, hay, grass, and rabbit chow) were used. Significant differences among infusions were detected on most sample dates for both species. For 3 of the first 4 wk of collections, the manure infusion collected significantly more Cx. restuans than all the other infusions. The hay and grass infusions collected the majority of the egg rafts during weeks 5–9. Cx. pipiens egg rafts were absent from the first 3 wk of collections. Of the remaining 6 wk, 4 showed significant differences in attractiveness of infusions, with the hay and grass infusions preferred by Cx. pipiens. Two infusions, manure and hay, were used for the gravid trap experiment and both Cx. restuans and Cx. pipiens data were combined for analysis. Only the first 2 wk showed significance, with manure being preferred over hay in both weeks. In later collections, the relative attractiveness of the hay infusion increased. A seasonal shift in infusion preference may be related to incubation temperature during preparation of the infusions. New infusions were prepared each week and incubation was done outside. Increased attractiveness of the hay infusion coincided with higher average temperatures in July and August. Hay infusion was very effective for trapping both Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans in southwestern Virginia and is more convenient to use than manure. However, cool outside temperatures in the early season may interfere with the fermentation process and thus incubation should be done for a longer time or brought indoors.
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Vol. 21 • No. 4