Australian Mosquito Species Arrives in North America

FAIRFAX, Va. (September 15, 2014) – A new variety of mosquito known as the Aussie Mozzie has made its way in to the United States. The black-and-white striped Australian mosquito has been found in Los Angeles County, California in what is believed to be the first sighting of this species in North America. The Aussie Mozzie is a widespread pest in its native Australia, capable of transmitting viruses to humans and heartworm to dogs.

The Australian mosquito is known to infect humans with two non-lethal viruses that can cause mild flu-like symptoms, though no victims have been reported so far in L.A. County.  This mosquito could be a bigger concern for pet owners and vets due to its transmission of the heartworm virus, which is potentially fatal to infected dogs.

Unlike domestic mosquitoes, the Aussie Mozzie's eggs are able to survive without water for five years. The Australian variety of mosquito also has different feeding habits from domestic mosquitoes, which typically only bite during dawn and dusk; the Aussie Mozzie feeds throughout the day.