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Non-native mosquitoes found in San Gabriel Valley

Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)

Health officials are working to prevent the spread of Asian tiger mosquitoes in the San Gabriel Valley after discovering an infestation of the non-native, disease-carrying insects last week in an El Monte neighborhood.

The tiny mosquitoes, distinctive in their black-and-white markings and for biting during the day, can transmit viruses such as yellow fever and are responsible for recent outbreaks of dengue fever in South Florida, Texas and Hawaii, authorities said.

Workers with the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District are going door-to-door searching for the insects to determine how far they have spread from the 11000 block of Dodson Street in El Monte before spraying insecticide later this week.

“Our goal is to eradicate this population,” the district's assistant manager Kenn Fujioka said in a news release. “We definitely do not want this mosquito to become established in our communities.”

Asian tiger mosquitoes were first detected in the United States in 1985 and have spread throughout the Southeast. They haven't been reported in the San Gabriel Valley since 2001, when they were imported by accident in shipments of bamboo plants from Southeast Asia.

Authorities urged residents to dump out any containers with standing water to prevent the mosquitoes from laying eggs and multiplying.

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--Tony Barboza

Photo: Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Credit: Centers for Disease Control / San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District

 
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