MONTPELIER, VT- The Vermont department of agriculture and the Vermont department of health have found eggs of Asian Tiger Mosquitos after looking for many years. They were found in Windham County.
Patti Casey is the Environmental Surveillance Program Director for the Vermont Department of Agriculture. The Department of Health teamed up with the Department of Agriculture to conduct a Mosquito Surveillance Program. It takes place every year from June-mid-October. Their goal is to find mosquitos carrying diseases.
“I started setting traps out 4 years ago and this is our first finding of them, said Casey.”
The Asian Tiger Mosquito is normally found in tropical and subtropical areas. Officials say things like Climate Change and travel have brought these mosquitos around the world. They are one of the top 100 invasive species in the world.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito is known to carry severe viruses such as zika, chikungunya, and dengue. Health officials say there is no reason for Vermonters to worry.
“Those viruses aren’t in the U.S. So, just because we have the mosquitoes here, it doesn’t mean that they have the virus. We’ve seen dengue and zika in Vermont residents who have traveled to other parts of the world where these viruses are,” said state epidemiologist Patsy Kelso.
The Big question is if these mosquitos will survive a Vermont winter.
“Are their eggs able to survive over winter? So we will be back out there first thing next year looking to see if there are eggs because then it is safe to say that there is probably a local population,” said Casey.
Casey said the mosquitos are bitters and to make sure Vermonters are keeping safe by covering up and using insect repellant.