Management of coastal wetlands is increasingly difficult because of increasing pressure arising from anthropogenic causes. These include sea level and climate change as well as coastline development caused by population growth and demographic shifts, for example, amenity migration where people move to coastal communities for lifestyle reasons. Management of mangroves and salt marshes is especially difficult because maintaining ecosystem values, including the goods and services provided, is countered by the potential of enhancing or even creating ecosystem disservices, such as unpleasant odour and mosquito hazards. Here we present, explain and apply a conceptual model aimed at improving understanding of management choices that primarily focus on mitigation of disservice while enabling improvement in ecosystem services. The model was developed after more than 30 years of habitat management following modification of a salt marsh to control mosquito production. We discuss the application of the model in a mangrove forest known to produce mosquitoes and outline the benefits arising from using the model.