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New mosquito species on Guam

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We've heard the saying: reality bites! And quite literally, as the Department of Public Health has announced the introduction of the new mosquito species to Guam. The Wyeomyia Mitchelli mosquito has been found on Guam. But, before the public is alarmed it's more of a pest than anything else at the moment.

Michelle Lastimoza, environmental public health officer, told KUAM News, "We do have mosquitoes on Guam that do transmit disease to humans and animals but at this point this mosquito is considered a nuisance mosquito. It'll still feed on humans, it'll still give you a welt and redness when it bites you along with itchiness."

Regional Entomologist for the Pacific Island Health Officers Association, Elodie Vajda says the newly introduced mosquito was found in a Bromeliad plant in the Chalan Pago area.

The species is native to South Florida and in the 1980s found its way to Hawaii and was also discovered in Tahiti a decade ago. "With the horticultural trade, it's inevitable that new insect species will be introduced on the island but that's why we have the department of agriculture to make sure they limit that - but sometimes more frequently than we wish it happens that an exotic species is introduced," she added.

As multiple specimens of male and female Wyeomyia Mitchelli were collected from only one location on island, experts say it is difficult to determine both the timing of this species' introduction, and how far spread they are throughout the island.

However, the public can do its part to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. It's can be as easy as removing standing water to prevent them from multiplying.

You can also protect yourself from mosquito bites from wearing long sleeves or pants, or wearing mosquito repellants that contain DEET.

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