Spraying planned to kill disease-carrying Asian tiger mosquito
Officials are searching block by block for Asian tiger mosquitoes to determine how far they have spread from an El Monte neighborhood before spraying insecticide later this week.
“Our goal is to eradicate this population,” San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District assistant manager Kenn Fujioka said in a news release. “We definitely do not want this mosquito to become established in our communities.”
An infestation of the non-native, disease-carrying insects was discovered last week around the 11000 block of Dodson Street in El Monte.
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.
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 help stop the pests from multiplying by dumping out any containers with standing water where the mosquitoes could lay their eggs.
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Photo: Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District