Mosquito traps set up in Chula Vista

CHULA VISTA (CNS) – San Diego County Department of Environmental Health employees set traps Friday in the southern portion of Chula Vista to see how far a type of mosquito that’s new to the region may have spread.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito was discovered recently at Naval Base San Diego and identified at a home in Chula Vista this week, according to the DEH.

The black insects, which have white stripes, differ from most other mosquitoes found in San Diego because it likes to feed — and bite — indoors and during the day.

“It loves to live with humans,” said Chris Conlan of the DEH. “It might hitch a ride home with you.”

This type of mosquito, normally found on the East Coast, is nicknamed the Yellow Fever mosquito because it can carry the disease in the tropics — though not here in San Diego, Conlan said. He said the disease is mostly contained to equatorial areas and most people who travel to such places get a vaccine.

He said more prevalent tropical diseases, like dengue fever or chikungunya could be a concern here if the new mosquito becomes entrenched.

Conlan outlined a scenario in which a person would travel to a tropical location, pick up an illness there, return home to San Diego and transfer it to the mosquitoes.

That would raise the risk of mosquitoes spreading the disease to other people here.

Such exposures have occurred in Florida and Texas, according to Conlan.

The DEH workers are fielding phone calls regarding possible sightings, going door-to-door to talk to residents and setting up traps.

“What we typically do is to radiate out (with the traps),” Conlan said. “We’ll start at about a mile (from the discovery). Depending on what we find, we might keep expanding.”

The DEH is urging San Diegans to check their homes for any standing water, which should be dumped. Mosquitoes breed in still waters.

Categories: KUSI