Constructed wetland technology and mosquito populations in Arizona

Martin M. Karpiscak, Kenneth J. Kingsley, Roland D. Wass, Frederick A. Amalfi, John Friel, Aaron M. Stewart, Joe Tabor, Jeffrey Zauderer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Constructed wetlands and other aquatic habitat creation or restoration efforts offer both potential benefits and problems for arid areas. An unintentional consequence of these efforts has been the potential for an increase in local adult mosquito populations. Shallow water-emergent plant zones may provide ideal conditions for mosquito larval growth, and areas of high humidity, dense vegetation, and abundant birds and other wildlife may provide ideal conditions for adult mosquitoes. Three constructed wetlands in southern Arizona were studied over a period of years before and after they were constructed and operational. Mosquito populations were sampled using a variety of methods, primarily trapping of adults with CO2-baited traps. Populations apparently increased, sometimes by several orders of magnitude, after wetlands became operational. Several methods of mosquito abatement were initiated and their results are discussed. However, no definitive conclusions can be drawn because no untreated areas were available for comparison and many factors that may have affected mosquito populations also changed. Based on the experience gained at these three sites, mosquito control is an especially important design and management component for constructed wetlands in arid environments with low background populations of mosquitoes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)681-707
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Constructed wetlands
  • Culex spp
  • Disease vectors
  • Mosquitoes
  • Phoenix
  • Sweetwater wetland
  • Tres Rios
  • Tucson

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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