The selection of oviposition sites by the yellow-fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti , was studied in the laboratory. The repellent or attractant effects of salinity and the presence of bacteria in water collected from a local community on the Brazilian coast were investigated. Water contaminated with bacteria (waste water and lagoon water) elicited significantly more oviposition than distilled water. Oviposition decreased with an increase in salinity, with almost no oviposition above 12%. The salinity tolerance of A. aegypti larvae was investigated by measuring their mortality in response to salt concentrations ranging from 10 to 15%. The LD50 of salt for A. aegypti larvae was around 13%.