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Dippin' with Andy Clarke Mosquito Control Biologist

Clarke Mosquito Control Virginia Team Page

Andy Lima's Magic Dipper

Apologies to all you larvae fans out there—of late I’ve been lacking on my updates of the Dippin’ with Andy circuit!  There’s plenty to tell now that we’re in the thick of the season…so I’ll get right to it.


Around the beginning of June, we began to see the switch from Culex restuans (which peaks early in the season) to Culex pipiens (which peaks during the dog-days of summer).  It’s important that we note this change because West Nile Virus positives will begin to surface in mosquitoes as numbers of Culex pipiens continue to rise.  Both of these species feed mainly on birds and circulate West Nile through avian populations.  As many birds (such as robins) begin to migrate during the hottest days of the summer, these species opportunistically switch to feeding on humans and other mammals.  In the process, West Nile Virus begins to appear in humans as well.  Culex mosquitoes are extremely adaptable and can live in many types of aquatic habitats.  Puddles, ditches, containers, ponds, etc. are all suspect.  You can do your part by emptying anything around your dwelling that may hold water.  This will also decreases populations of other container-breeders such as Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito)—the poster-larvae nuisance mosquito of northern VA.  If only they weren’t so darn cute.    


Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are also on the rise in the last month and a half.  As such, we’ve begun collecting Anopheles quadrimaculatus and Anopheles punctipennis adults from traps and preparing them for submission to the state labs for analysis.  Three new resting box locations coupled with numerous carbon dioxide-baited CDC light traps should yield high numbers of Anophelines in the weeks to come.  Surveillance has been focused in proximity to the Potomac River since it overran its banks at the end of June due to heavy sustained rainfall.


June, in fact, was the wettest on record in the DC metro area.  12 inches of rain in four days (June 24 – June 27) caused damaging flood-conditions for many counties in Virginia and Maryland.  This period of rainfall followed nearly a year of drought-like conditions, and it appears that the mosquitoes have taken advantage.  We welcomed back the sunshine—but so did the mosquitoes.  We had a very large mosquito bloom occur around Independence Day, and have maintained high populations since.  Some locales were reporting a tenfold increase in their overall trap numbers.  In our traps, we’ve seen especially high counts of floodwater species such as Psorophora ferox, Psorophora columbiae, and Aedes vexans.  The rain also seems to have resurrected the eggs of some species that we have not seen in at least a year-and-a-half, such as Ochlerotatus trivittatus (woodland pools) and Anopheles crucians (permanent water).  Nice of you to make an appearance this season.    


Shout-outs:  Michael Boggs, who has been a tremendous help in the Clarke laboratory for the last three years.  Recently engaged, Michael and his fiancé depart for Dallas at the beginning of August.  Best of luck to you both with your music, careers, love. 


All you superfans out there--you know who you are.  Thanks for putting some hits on the Dippin’ with Andy column and spreading the word.  You all know how seriously I take this so keep the comic relief coming…I can take it…Chicago style.   Keep the peace.


Join me...won't you?
Andy Lima, Biologist loves to eat. Visit his favorite restaurant. Click on Andy's dipper.

Mosquito information in a nutshell.

Andy Lima Clarke Mosquito Control Lab Supervisor and Biologist will offer his observations weekly in the "Dippin' with Andy" column. If you have questions or comment for Andy please contact him at:

Respect wildlife


Andy's new favorite species. Their larvae are huge and they eat other mosquito larvae. They do not bite humans. They are our dream mosquito.
We are the mosquito professionals


We're working here!

Where did Andy go to school?
Click on Andy as he studies mosquito larvae for the answer.

Andy Lima in his second floor lab identifying mosquito larvae.
Wear repellant

Click on Andy's head for an adventure!

405 Glenn Drive, Suite One
Sterling,VA 20164