Mother nature has a way of sneaking in from time to time despite our best efforts. This time a new mosquito has entered the United States: the Aussie Mozzie. Usually found in Australia (hence the snazzy nickname), this mosquito was recently discovered in California. What does this mean?
The Aussie Mozzie is known down under for being the harbinger of several viruses. This mosquito separates itself from other species because it primarily bites during the day, while others are more prone to bite at dusk or at dawn. They also thrive in the city and have been known to lay their eggs in the numerous containers available to them in large cities.
This mosquito is capable of infecting both humans and animals with diseases such as the Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses. Neither of these viruses is usually lethal, but they can cause a quite unpleasant infection. The symptoms of these viruses include a rash that can cover the whole body in small, slightly raised spots and joint problems such as tenderness, pain, and even swelling. You may also experience a fever and chills, not to mention excessive tiredness. Symptoms can last up to 8 weeks if untreated. In other words, if you notice any of these symptoms see a medical professional as soon as you can.
Another problem with the Aussie Mozzie is that it can infect dogs with heartworm, a parasite that lives and grows in the heart and lungs of dogs. It’s quite serious, and the treatment is long and expensive. You can give a dog preventative treatment for heartworm, so make sure you discuss that with your vet.
So far only a few of these new mosquitos have been found in the U.S., but knowledge is power, especially when fighting against mosquitoes. Be aware of any mosquito bites you may incur in the daytime and report any to your local health department.