Beware Florida: A new mosquito that has been discovered to be “thriving” in three counties could carry disease.


New mosquito species : After discovering the new species in 2018 in low numbers close to the Everglades, the UF researchers alerted regional mosquito control authorities. Recent discoveries in Southwest Florida have shown larger populations.

Although warm winters may help them expand, Reeves noted that cold weather eventually serves as a barrier.

Not all mosquitoes bite or spread disease. They are common around the world:

  • 3,600: Mosquito species worldwide
  • 200: Species in the U.S.
  • 90: Species in Florida
  • 12: Species that can spread disease

Scientists are worried about the emergence of a new kind of mosquito that has been discovered “thriving” in at least three South Florida counties because it may spread diseases including West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.

Thus far, the South and Central American native Culex lactator has been discovered in Lee, Collier, and Miami-Dade counties.

Can I get sick from a mosquito bite?

According to a recent USA TODAY article, mosquitoes are the deadliest critter on the planet. Between 750,000 and 1 million individuals every year pass away from diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes can spread diseases from other animals that eventually can cause humans to become sick or even die. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those diseases can include:

  • West Nile virus
  • Malaria
  • Yellow fever
  • Encephalitis
  • Dengue fever
  • Zika
  • Chikungunya
Image credit : WPTV

This Culex might resemble any other mosquito you’ve encountered in the past, which would annoy you. Although it looks to be settling in the Sunshine State, scientists claim that the bug is actually a species that is native to Central and South America.

We don’t yet know how likely it is to bite us or whether our health and that of wildlife are at equal danger from it.

According to Lawrence Reeves, main author of the study and an assistant professor and mosquito biologist at the UF/IFAS research facility in Vero Beach, “If it is a bird feeder, it has a larger probability disseminating some of these viruses.” Diseases like the West Nile virus, which Culex may spread by feeding on both humans and birds, can be carried by birds.

Under the microscope, Reeves knows a Culex lactator when he sees it: “It just looks, like weird. It’s like a face you don’t quite recognize.”

Let us know what do you think about it and for more updates, stay tuned to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *