Culex spp

From Dog
A female unfed Culex quinquefasciatus. This is a common species which is often a pest around the home and tends to breed in polluted waters.[1]

Culex spp are a genus of mosquitoes which feed habitually on dogs worldwide[2].

Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:

  • Culex annulirostris
  • Culex pipiens
  • Culex pullus
  • Culex quinquefasciatus
  • Culex globocoxitus
  • Culex hortensis
  • Culex modestus
  • Culex theileri
  • Culex torrentium
  • Culex tritaeniorhynchus

Mosquitoes lay their eggs on water or in dry places that tend to flood seasonally. The larvae molt four times within the first two weeks of hatching and then pupate. Within 24 hours after emergence from the pupa, female mosquitoes begin seeking blood, feeding every day or every second day on a host until sufficient protein stores allow them to begin laying eggs. It is the repeated feeding which makes them vectors for so many diseases and a cause of blood loss when feeding in swarms[3].

These mosquitoes are responsible for a number of parasitic and viral diseases in dogs including:

Preventative control of mosquito populations is the most effective method of disease control.

Drugs such as fipronil[5] and permethrin[6] are effective in long-term management strategies.


  1. NSW Govt
  2. Johansen CA et al (2009) Determination of mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) bloodmeal sources in Western Australia: implications for arbovirus transmission. J Med Entomol 46(5):1167-1175
  3. Bowman, DD (2009) Georgis' parasitology for veterinarians. 9th edn. Elsevier Saunders, Missouri. pp:7
  4. Azari-Hamidian S et al (2009) Distribution and ecology of mosquitoes in a focus of dirofilariasis in northwestern Iran, with the first finding of filarial larvae in naturally infected local mosquitoes. Med Vet Entomol 23(2):111-121
  5. Bouhsira E et al (2009) Efficacy of fipronil-(S)-methoprene, metaflumizone combined with amitraz, and pyriprole commercial spot-on products in preventing Culex pipiens pipiens from feeding on dogs. Vet Rec 165(5):135-137
  6. Machida H et al (2008) The inhibitory effect of a combination of imidacloprid and permethrin on blood feeding by mosquitoes in dogs raised under outdoor conditions. Vet Parasitol 154(3-4):318-324