Another Tricky Mosquito in Central Mass: The Cattail Mosquito

Author: Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge

We’ve reported on the varying behaviors of mosquito species in Massachusetts area before, with stories about Asian Tiger, Culex Pipiens and Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to name a few. But the Cattail Mosquito takes the cake for most interesting (and consequently, annoying.) With unique developmental habits, they might be one the trickiest mosquitoes to eliminate.

When it comes to eliminating mosquitoes, Mosquito Squad of Chelmsford & Cambridge takes pride in our ability to assess a situation and customize a treatment that will work for each unique property. While our regular treatment of traditional barrier spray every 2-3 weeks works for most, some properties present a unique challenge. Wooded lots, waterfront properties and those near wetlands can create specifically unique mosquito control situations.


These challenges are why Mosquito Squad is so good at mosquito control as we take a three-pronged approach to our treatment. Our spray does three things very well: 1. It knocks down adult mosquitoes that happen to be out and about when we spray, 2. It leaves a time-released formula on vegetation for continuous adult mosquito elimination and 3. It has a larvicide element to it to eliminate developing mosquitoes that have taken up residency in standing water.


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Cattail mosquitoes (Coquillettidia perturbans) are uniquely able to avoid elimination in the larval stage as they take up residency in the bottom of wetlands. While most mosquitoes float at the top of standing water at this stage, Cattail mosquitoes use vegetation that grows in wetlands as makeshift snorkels so they can develop near the bottom for safe keeping. They pierce a hole in the bottom of submerged plant-life (cattails are perfect) with their siphon and breathe through the chambers in the plant’s stem.

This feature is a double challenge for mosquito control efforts in that our larvicide is deemed ineffective during the larval stage, and therefore new populations of adult cattails can emerge from these wetlands almost weekly during peak mosquito season. Their growth and development are not even affected by drought conditions as cattail mosquitoes take a year to develop. Therefore their numbers are as equally plentiful during dry or wet summers.

If your home is situated on or near a wetland, be sure to inform our experts when you call. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure you can enjoy summer outside. We are committed to providing you the best information for staying up-to-date on the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses Massachusetts area. Stay tuned for the latest local mosquito news. Don’t forget, to limit the population of mosquitoes on your property, follow the 5T’s of mosquito control.