Another Mosquito???

Another Mosquito???

On the hit HBO show The Last of Us, based on the video game, the world-ending zombies came about because when the temperatures got warmer, cordyceps, fungus that turns ants into zombie slaves in real life, was suddenly able to enslave humans. While that is fiction, scientists in Florida are blaming a similar circumstance for the emergence of our latest invasive insect species.

Culex lactator, a mosquito species native to Central and South America, has now been caught in monitoring stations in at least three Florida counties. The entomologists at the University of Florida say that our escalating temperatures are to blame for the insect having more free reign in the Sunshine State.

While there is a good chance a storm like Hurricane Ian might have swept some of the recent mosquitoes here, the fact that they’re thriving is indicative of the weather changes.

Technically, the newest mosquito invader was first spotted in 2018 in Miami-Dade. But sometime in 2022, the biters were located in Lee and Collier Counties as well according to the Journal of Medical Entomology.

Highway to the Danger Zone

While scientists have not specifically targeted the Tamiami Trail or I-75, it’s not hard to imagine that those busy streets are somehow connected to the mosquito moving from the beaches of Miami across Alligator Alley to our own Gulf Coast of Florida. And at least one of the assistant professors at UF believes it’s likely that Sarasota and Tampa Bay are next on the culex lactator’s path.

While there are some 3600 species of mosquitoes in the world, thankfully we only deal with 90 of them here. But the biggest threat that worries researchers is that non-native insects are, by far, the usual source of disease spreading vectors.

As it stands now, we know much less about this new species of mosquito than we do about the other 80+ species we’re used to dealing with. Entomologists did confirm that a related, cousin species to the culex is known to spread West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis.

Of the 17 invasive mosquito species we have in Florida, eleven were first reported in the past two decades. Six of those were discovered just in the last five years!

Protect Your Family

Regardless of whether this new species carries disease vectors, there are plenty of mosquito threats out there – and as we look towards rainy season again, they’ll only multiply. Pregnant momma mosquitoes are actually the ones that bite (their male counterparts enjoy nectar). But as you can imagine, that’s still a lot of mosquitoes.

Our exclusive No Bite Zones Mosquito Protection Program uses natural, environmentally friendly means to transform those hungry pregnant females into vegans. Our MosquitoPaqs send them back to the flowers they started with – and the trait is passed on to the babies they’re pregnant with.

It’s easy to set up and affordable, and we can even deliver it during our regular service time for your home. For more details or to arrange a delivery to your location, just give us a call!


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