Yellow Fever Mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus)
Aedes aegypti larvae.jpg

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes originated in Africa and were most likely brought to the new world via ships in the early 1900s. Their distribution continues to increase worldwide, making them one of the most widespread mosquito species. As their common name suggests, yellow fever mosquitoes are the primary vectors of yellow fever, a prevalent disease in tropical South America and Africa.

Pest Stats

Color

Dark brown to black with silvery white markings

Legs

6

Shape

Long, segmented body with a pair of wings

Size

About 1/8” (2-10 mm)

Antennae

Yes

Region

Primarily found in the southern regions of the United States

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Habits

Female adult yellow fever mosquitoes primarily feed on humans, as a blood meal is required to produce eggs. These mosquitoes are active around the clock – biting during the day, and at dusk and dawn. Male yellow fever mosquitoes do not bite. Instead, they feed on plant nectar.

Habitat

Yellow fever mosquitoes live in tropical, subtropical and some temperate climates. They often inhabit shaded containers with standing water to lay their eggs. Yellow fever mosquitoes also breed in flowerpots, spare tires, baby pools, drainage ditches and other objects where water collects.

Threats

The bite from a yellow fever or Aedes aegypti mosquito can result in an itchy, raised bump on the skin. More concerning, though, is that this type of mosquito is a vector of numerous diseases, including dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have most recently been implicated in the global spread of Zika virus.