We evaluated Aedes atlanticus Dyar and Knab, Aedes infirmatus Dyar and Knab, Aedes vexans (Meigen), Anopheles crucians Wiedemann, Coquillettidia perturbans (Walker), Culex nigripalpus Theobald, Mansonia dyari Belkin, Heinemann, and Page, and Psorophora ferox (Von Humboldt) from Florida to determine which of these species should be targeted for control should Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) be detected in North America. Female mosquitoes that had fed on adult hamsters inoculated with RVFV were incubated for 7–21 d at 26°C, then allowed to refeed on susceptible hamsters, and tested to determine infection, dissemination, and transmission rates. We also inoculated mosquitoes intrathoracically, held them for 7 d, and then allowed them to feed on a susceptible hamster to check for a salivary gland barrier. When exposed to hamsters with viremias ≥107.6 plaque-forming units per milliliter of blood, at least some individuals in each of the species tested became infected; however, Cx. nigripalpus, An. crucians, and Ae. infirmatus were essentially incompetent vectors in the laboratory because of either a midgut escape or salivary gland barrier. Each of the other species should be considered as potential vectors and would need to be controlled if RVFV were introduced into an area where they were found. Additional studies need to be conducted with other geographic populations of these species and to determine how environmental factors affect transmission.
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Vol. 50 • No. 5