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Larvae Of ‘Yellow Fever’ Mosquito Found In Escondido

Photo credit: San Diego County

A "yellow fever" mosquito.

Larvae of a tropical mosquito, found locally for the first time last fall at Navy Base San Diego and Chula Vista, has been discovered in Escondido, the county Department of Environmental Health reported Thursday.

A resident called to report the Aedes aegypti larvae earlier this week, according to the department.

The Aedes aegypti, also known as the "yellow fever" mosquito, is capable of carrying carry tropical diseases like yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya — though the department cautions that there hasn't been an outbreak of yellow fever in the U.S. in more than 100 years.

The Aedes aegypti is black with white stripes. It was likely brought to the region by travelers and might have hitched a ride by car to the North County, according to the agency. That type of mosquito generally doesn't spread very quickly on its own, experts say.

The insect was found in southern areas of San Diego County in October, but no evidence of the species was seen again until last week, when one was located in Chula Vista — close to one of the original discovery sites.

"It's very important that we get the public to help fight to keep this mosquito out of the county by eliminating standing water," said Department of Environmental Health Director Elizabeth Pozzebon. "This includes inside your home. This mosquito will live and breed indoors."

The breed's preference for living indoors is one of the key differences from mosquitos normally found locally. The other is that it will feed during the daytime. The regular mosquitos bite around dusk and dawn.

County vector control teams have been putting up and monitoring traps for the Aedes mosquito in the areas where it has been found and handing out information to urge the public to be on the lookout for the pest.

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