Invasive mosquitoes can pose a serious danger to the local community. This is the case with Florida, where researchers have discovered two more tropical disease-carrying mosquitoes in the Everglades. Their presence could lead to an increased risk that the viruses they carry to reach other animals or even humans.
According to the scientists, the invasive mosquitoes come from Latin America known as Culex panacossa, while the ones from the Caribbean are named Aedeomyia. They were captured in October 2016 in the rural areas which border the Everglades National Park. They were identified by entomologist Nathan Burkett from the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and researcher Erik Blosser from the Medical Entomology Laboratory.
The information about the existence of the two species of invasive mosquitoes was revealed in a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology as well as Acta Tropica. The study explains that the traps that the scientists deployed contained native mosquito species which were surrounded by thousands of mosquitoes from Latin America and several hundreds of specimens from the Caribbean.
The discovery of this number of mosquitoes from two invasive species worried the scientists, especially since it was only one trap. Scientists believe that the invasive mosquitoes were able to reproduce quite rapidly in order to reach this number in only one location.
These two new species puts the total of invasive mosquitoes up to 15 in Florida, nine of which have arrived only in the last decade. Some are more dangerous than others, like the Aedes aegypti which carries the Zika virus as well as well dengue fever and chikungunya.
According to the scientists, the arrivals of an increasing number of invasive species of mosquitoes means that Florida has become a more hospitable place for them to live and reproduce. This was caused by a series of factors such as climate change, increased global trade, and tourism.
Around the world, there are over 200 mosquito species which can transmit the disease to humans. The recently arrived Culex panacossa, which can spread the Venezuelan equine encephalitis is among those species. However, health officials decided not to raise any serious alarms as more research is required.
Image source: Pixnio