Local residents close to the ports of Auckland and Tauranga are being asked to keep a look out after two unwanted species of mosquito were found on a visiting cargo ship.
Public Health Service staff in both cities are responding to the unexpected finding of exotic mosquitoes at the Auckland Port on Tuesday on a ship that had docked the day before in Tauranga.
Mosquito larvae (wrigglers), pupae (tumblers) and other signs of mosquitoes were found following a routine check by MAF staff in Auckland on Tuesday. The vessel had come from Vanuatu.
The two species found are Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) andCulex quinquefasciatus.
There is particular concern about the first of these, as the Asian Tiger Mosquito is not established in New Zealand, and is able to spread a range of diseases.
All mosquitoes detected on the vessel have been treated and killed. Checks of the vicinity have been made and traps have been set locally in both ports.
Ministry of Health Manager of Border and Environmental Health Sally Gilbert says, “Border health protection officers are maintaining close surveillance around the areas and are conducting further searches for mosquitoes.”
“It is essential that the site is closely monitored for the next few weeks.”
In addition, anyone living or working in the vicinity of the Auckland or Tauranga wharves who notices any mosquito activity such as insect biting or ‘wrigglers in pooled water’ should contact our hot line (0800 MOZZIE or 0800 669 943)
Exotic mosquitoes of public health significance have been intercepted on average around nine times a year in the past five years.
Date: December 9, 2011 Source: Scoop.co.nz