Ouch! Mosquito Clouds Draw Welts

Huge swarms of salt marsh mosquitoes have been raising welts throughout coastal North County, especially in northern Oceanside and south Carlsbad, residents and county officials told the North County Times this week.

"It's crazy man, especially after dark, they come out in swarms and bite you like crazy," said Benny Juarez, who owns a home right next to the San Luis Rey River near Fireside Drive. "They're the tiny little ones. People are not letting their kids go outside at night, and they're staying inside because there have been so many mosquitoes."

San Diego County vector control officials said Thursday that they have been inundated with complaints from residents in Oceanside and Carlsbad reporting mosquito clouds descending on neighborhoods, the paper reported.

Kerry McNeil, a vector control supervisor, said mosquito traps placed throughout the area have identified the offenders as a species called Aedes taeniorhynchus, commonly known as the black salt marsh mosquito.

McNeil said the species is known as an aggressive biter but does not carry diseases such as West Nile virus. She said the area's infestation was hatched during a high tide July 21.

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