Aggressive new species of mosquito spreading worries

Tools

Keely Chalmers (NBC)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Better stock up on bug spray. A new aggressive species of mosquito is turning up in Portland, and is making its way across the country. The biggest issue? It's known to carry the West Nile Virus.

With summer here and temperatures finally starting to warm up, more and more parents like Daisy Lembke are taking their kids outdoors. And as we found out, the last thing on many of their minds are mosquitos.

Not the case says Multnomah County Vector ecologist Carl Pierce. Carl says "we're looking at trapping mosquitos and testing them for West Nile Virus."

The county is setting up 150 mosquito traps like this one all across the Multnomah county. Ecologists are looking to test all mosquitos found in this area but are specifically looking for the Rock Pool mosquito.

It's a particularly aggressive species native to Asia. It was first discovered in Multnomah county five years ago but is spreading and are known to carry West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, and encephalitis.

And don't think it comes out just at night.

Carl says "it's a day biter which we do have some day biters in this area but adding one more day biter to the mix that can carry West Nile Virus has potential for disease transmission that we're concerned with." 

It's a concern Christiane Frost understands well. Christiane says "my brother in law got West Nile Virus actually in Idaho from a mosquito." 

Now she wants to protect her young daughter. The best way to do that, say the experts: eliminate any standing water around your home. 

Carl says "they can breed in a coffee can they'll utilize old tires." 

And don't give the pests a place to multiply. Experts say while they have found a pretty large number of Rock Pool mosquito larvae in this area, they have yet to trap many adults which is good news so far.

Advertisement