3 types of mosquitoes to watch out for in Yucatán

UADY researcher Julián García Rejón warns the public about mosquito season in Yucatán. Photos: Facebook, Wikipedia
UADY researcher Dr. Julián García Rejón warns the public about mosquito season in Yucatán. Photos: Facebook, Wikipedia

At the height of Yucatán’s mosquito season, UADY researcher Dr. Julián García Rejón has a stern warning to the public: Don’t take it lightly.

Beyond being an annoyance, the Aedes aegypti is just one of three mosquitoes vexing residents.

The research professor from the Dr. Hideyo Noguchi Regional Research Center at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) said the southern house mosquito, or Culex quinquefasciatus, and the aggressive black salt marsh mosquito, or Aedes (Ochlerotatus) taeniorhynchus, are also prominent.

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The Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, has been the most feared. It can spread dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika fever.

It bites in the mornings and in the evenings, and the most common to feed inside homes, mainly in bedrooms, living room, kitchen and bathrooms. As opposed to working in swarms, it works alone.

The Culex feeds at night and also a solo act. It is more frequently inside houses, especially in bedrooms and bathrooms. It prefers to feed on birds, but commonly bites people. It rests in trees and high places.

The Ocheloratus taeniorhynchus is the most common mosquito in Yucatán right now. It works in groups like other salt marsh mosquitoes and is typically tenacious, he said.

Usually, the taeniorhynchus bites in the early morning and in the late afternoon. It is commonly found in parks when the sun is just rising or setting.

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It has a large radius, up to 40 kilometers, to search for food.

Dr. Garcia Rejón notes that Aedes aegypti does not bite through clothing, but taeniorhynchus does, and it’s painful.

He also recalls that in previous years researchers have detected growing outbreaks of the taeniorhynchus.

While the Aedes aegypti only attacks humans, taeniorhynchus also feasts on the blood of birds, dogs and horses. Rarely associated with human illness, a bite from the taeniorhynchus can lead to possibly fatal heartworm for dogs.

In most cases, it’s too late to save the dog once heartworm is detected.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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