A local of South America and the Caribbean, the mosquito was discovered final yr in usually monitored traps in Florida Metropolis and in Broward County. The id was confirmed via DNA sequencing final yr, mentioned Chalmers Vasquez, director of the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Management Analysis.
“This can be a very aggressive mosquito, like those that assault folks within the Everglades,” he mentioned. That pest, the black salt marsh mosquito, can swarm guests at sure instances of yr within the Everglades Nationwide Park, the place large-scale mosquito management techniques like spraying will not be allowed.
Whereas it’s an enormous biter, the brand new mosquito could also be extra restricted a risk than the Zika and Dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti, which is very tailored to city areas. The Aedes scapularis doesn’t normally reside in densely populated areas, he mentioned.
And though the species is thought to unfold yellow fever, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and different human pathogens in its native vary, there isn’t any proof that it poses any danger to human well being or to animals in South Florida, Vasquez mentioned.
“This species is just not very nicely established but, so we now have not seen any instances of illness transmission. However we are going to control it as we do with different mosquitoes that reside right here,” he mentioned. Miami-Dade screens greater than 320 mosquito traps set all through the county to investigate species and prevalence in numerous areas.
Well being officers reported greater than 60 domestically transmitted instances of West Nile virus final yr after heavy rains led mosquito populations to blow up. West Nile is usually transmitted by the southern home mosquito and different Culex species.
The affirmation of a brand new bug that’s calling South Florida house is one more reminder that Miami-Dade is a gateway for invasive species. Scientists will now watch how far the Aedes scapularis will unfold. The one different time it was confirmed in Florida was in 1945 when three larval specimens had been collected within the Florida Keys.
“The Florida Strait was seemingly a geographic barrier for the species, and now that it has crossed that barrier, Aedes scapularis may probably unfold additional northward and westward to fill any contiguous areas which can be environmentally appropriate,” Reeves instructed Entomology At the moment.