A yellow fever mosquito was discovered in Gainesville for the first time since the early ‘90s.
In a Facebook post Tuesday, Gainesville’s Public Works Department wrote that a yellow fever mosquito was found downtown this week. Yellow fever mosquitoes can spread yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses, according to the post.
Rossana Passaniti, a spokesperson for the city of Gainesville, told The Alligator she hasn’t heard of any recent sighting of a yellow fever mosquito. She said the mosquito’s larva was discovered in November and didn’t show signs of carrying diseases, but its origins are unknown.
While public works said that it’s not aware of any active transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, residents should take action by getting rid of potential breeding sites.
The mosquitos mainly breed in artificial containers, such as tin cans, bottle caps, tires, vases and gutters, that contain water. They can be identified by white markings on their legs and are found in areas where human-mosquito contact is frequent.
The City of Gainesville’s website advises residents to drain standing water and any containers where sprinkler or rainwater collects to stop mosquitoes’ breeding. Passanti said Gainesville Mosquito Control can supply residents with mosquito-eating fish for ponds.
Dr. Peter Jiang, an entomologist with Gainesville Mosquito Control, declined to comment to The Alligator Wednesday. He said he couldn’t answer questions regarding the discovery of the mosquito, adding that the information line is intended for questions and concerns about inspections.
Gainesville Mosquito Control’s information line can be reached at 352-393-8287. Residents can also schedule inspections at 352-393-8110.