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Two New Invasive Mosquito Species Discovered in Collier County

Nonnative Aedes scapularis mosquito which can spread Yellow Fever and Venezuelan equine encephalitis
University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Nonnative Aedes scapularis mosquito which can spread Yellow Fever and Venezuelan equine encephalitis

The discovery of these new arrivals increases the number of known mosquito species in Collier County to 48.

District Entomologist Dr. Rebecca Heinig first identified the two mosquitoes in traps that the district monitors. Various traps are placed throughout the county that target different species of mosquitoes.

“The one that caught these mosquito species were actually located in the Bayshore Drive area, and it's called a CDC light trap,” Heinig said. “This is a trap that runs overnight, it uses light and carbon dioxide as a lure for mosquitoes, and it uses a fan to suck in any mosquitoes that are attracted by those two compounds. We do have a lot of other traps and we use those traps to monitor mosquito population density,” Heinig added.

The Aedes scapularis mosquito can be a vector for diseases like yellow fever and Venezuelan equine encephalitis.

Residents should remain vigilant about water around their homes, according to the district's communication director, Robin King.

“Especially with all of the rains we’re getting, it's important that people try to dump out any containers of water; anything that's holding water around their homes on a weekly basis. It only takes five to seven days for mosquito eggs to turn into buzzing, biting adults here," said King.

”If there's an area on their property that has standing water that can't be emptied, for example, if they've got a low spot in their yard, that's a swale or a ditch, we do have mosquito fish available for our residents to pick up and put in those areas,” King added. “Each little fish can eat about 100 mosquito larvae a day. And so it's nothing to solve the problem, but it definitely will help.”

For more information visit cmcd.org