Sandpiper April 2023 Blog Post: New Mosquito Species Buzzing Around Florida

Culex lactator mosquito

A new invasive species of mosquito has become permanently established in three counties in south Florida. This new species is currently referred to by its scientific name, Culex lactator. There is currently not much known about this mosquito species, other than that it has become a permanent resident of the following counties: Miami-Dade, Lee, and Collier.

The Culex lactator was first discovered back in 2018 in Miami-Dade county. Then, in 2022, the species was found in both Lee and Collier counties. Now, in 2023, the Culex lactator has a thriving population in these three south Florida counties. 

This study was headed by Lawrence Reeves, assistant professor at our area's very own Vero Beach extension of the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. 

The warm and tropical climate of south Florida makes it an enticing area for nonnative mosquitoes to move in from the tropics. There are approximately 90 mosquito species in Florida, with 17 of those being nonnative mosquito species, and 11 of those nonnative species were detected in the past five years. 

Culex lactator

Culex lactator

Source: UF/IFAS

This species has the ability to spread to surrounding areas, so scientists are trying to be as vigilant as possible about tracking any future spread. Officials and scientists are concerned about the Culex lactator as a public health concern. 

The Culex lactator is a member of the Culex mosquito group, which has members that transmit the West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses, but scientists are unsure currently if this new species is a host for these viruses as well. Florida is unfortunately home to many mosquito-borne illnesses, such as the dengue, zika, West Nile, and eastern equine encephalitis viruses. 

Protection Against Mosquitoes

Mosquito bites and the potential for mosquito-borne illnesses are not to be taken lightly. As we get closer to summertime in Florida, let's review some ways you can protect yourself and your home from these nuisances. As always, Sandpiper recommends following the Three D's of Mosquito Protection: Drain, Dress, and Defend.


  • Drain and eliminate any containers of standing water around your property at least once per week. The life cycle of the mosquito is dependent on water. Female mosquitoes generally lay their eggs in areas of shallow, stagnant water. Draining sources of water will help cut down on mosquito breeding around your property.


  • If you are going to be outdoors in areas with lots of mosquitoes, dress accordingly. Good choices for what to wear include any long, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing. Mosquitoes can bite you easier through tight-fitted garments than loose-fitted ones. They also are more attracted to darker-colored clothing than lighter-colored, so the lighter the color of your clothes, the better to help keep mosquitoes away! 


  • Using insect repellent when outdoors is important. Although there are many different options to choose from, we recommend following the American Mosquito Control Association's (AMCA) guidelines for insect repellent for the most effective protection. It is recommended that your insect repellent has one of the following active ingredients:
    • DEET
    • Picardian
    • I3535
    • Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

Professional Mosquito Control

If you are interested in professional and effective mosquito control for your property, Sandpiper Pest Control can help. Our In2Care mosquito bait stations specifically attract and eliminate female mosquitoes preparing to lay their eggs, the most effective way to help cut back on population.

Mosquito Bait System

In2Care systems are specifically engineered to provide protection against mosquitoes of the Aedes and Culex groups that are known to transmit several mosquito-borne illnesses. Be prepared this summer in Florida with professional mosquito control. For more information on how In2Care mosquito control works click here

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