There is more than one mosquito responsible for transmitting Zika Virus. The main culprit in the Brazil outbreak is called the Aedes Aegypti which is not found in South Shore or most of the Northeast. However, the Aedes Aegypti otherwise known as the Asian Tiger mosquito is in South Shore Mass and can transmit the Zika Virus.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito Transmits Zika Virus
The Asian Tiger is a nasty little bugger who feeds during the daytime as well as at dawn & dusk. It is such a nuisance that we wrote an entire page about it last year.
Asian Tiger mosquitoes are recognized easily by their bold silver white scale stripes. They are noticeably active even during the hottest part of the day. They are considered highly aggressive and are not easily deterred. Asian Tiger mosquitoes are container breeders, which means they thrive successfully in suburban and urban environments as well as rural areas. They are responsible for carrying and transmitting over 30 viruses including West Nile Virus (WNV), encephalitis, Tripe E (Easter Equine Encephalitis), Chikungunya and now Zika Virus.
Could the Culex Mosquito Carry Zika Too?
Last week (March 7) PBS reported a story about a preliminary study that points to the possibility of the Culexmosquito carrying Zika Virus as well. There are several species in the Culex mosquito group, together they can be found throughout the United States.
The study not only found that Culex can be infected with Zika, but they could also “reproduce the virus in their salivary glands.” These results are preliminary and still face rigorous testing from the entomologist community. If more studies reveal the Culex mosquito to be a vector of Zika Virus, the world will have to adjust their approach to preventing the virus as current efforts have been primarily focused on the Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus. The Culex pipiens is a common Massachusetts mosquito and will certainly be a factor for us if the results of this test are proven.
Until everything is known about Zika and all of its vectors and complications, we caution you to protect your family with mosquito control for prevention. Make sure you’re following the 5 T’s of mosquito control for your yard and be sure to keep up with the CDC’s latest travel guide for pregnant women.
Call today to sign up for mosquito control for your yard.