Experts: Expect More Deadly Mosquitos This Year

As a result of abnormally warm weather in the summer and fall, vector control experts are predicting a wave of disease-carrying mosquitos in California this spring.

Specialists are particularly worried about two types of mosquitos which have the potential to transmit deadly diseases. The yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) are both expected to multiply this year, having expanded their territory in the state. Both can carry a host of nasty diseases linked to illness, birth defects, and death, experts say. They are also notoriously aggressive insects that have even been known to follow people into buildings.

The insects are potential carriers of dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya, and can be identified by their black-and-white striped bodies, smaller size and daytime prevalence. They need as little as a thimble of water to reproduce which makes them notoriously difficult to control.

"It was quicker and more widespread than any of us could have anticipated," said Chris Conlan, an ecologist with the San Diego County Vector Control Program, of the pets’ expansion. "In a couple of places, it has reached very troubling numbers — San Ysidro and some areas around Barrio Logan to Logan Heights. It's pretty widespread down there.”

For now, West Nile Virus still remains the more immediate threat. But that could soon change if the specialists’ predictions come true.

Read more about the proliferation of disease-carrying mosquitos here.

Image Credit: Flickr User cdcglobal, via (CC BY 2.0)