Aedes aegypti, better known as the “yellow fever mosquito,” has existed in parts of the southern US for centuries, and it is the most common mosquito pest found within and around homes in urban and suburban areas of Texas. According to a recent nationwide survey of pest control professionals, the yellow fever mosquito was the fourth most commonly managed mosquito species in the US during 2016. This is notable, as yellow fever mosquitoes are only abundant in the southeastern, southcentral, and to a lesser extent, southwestern regions of the country. While yellow fever mosquitoes have been documented in 23 states, they only pose a significant disease threat in the southeastern states, Texas, New Mexico and California. Yellow fever mosquitoes are widely considered to be the most dangerous mosquito pests in the US, as they are responsible for the reemergence of several well known and new mosquito-borne diseases in the US in recent years, including dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus.
It is often said that disease-spreading mosquitoes in Texas are most prevalent in communities located on the southeastern coast. However, a 2014 study of Texas mosquitoes found that while Asian tiger mosquitoes are most abundant along the coast, yellow fever mosquitoes are more abundant inland, and large populations inhabit central Texas every summer. A survey measuring yellow fever mosquito populations in Texas communities found that McClellan County often becomes “infested” with these bloodsucking pests. Another study found that out of Texas’ 85 mosquito species, yellow fever mosquitoes are found in homes in the state at a greater rate than all other mosquito species. This is not surprising, as the yellow fever mosquito is one of the few mosquito species that relies primarily on standing water in residential areas in order to breed. Females can deposit a massive number of eggs in little puddles of water that have collected in containers as small as a bottle cap, but they typically lay eggs in water that has pooled within clogged gutters, bird feeders, flower pot saucers, kiddie pools, and landscaping tools. Removing standing water and all potential breeding sites from residential lawns will reduce the number of yellow fever mosquitoes found around homes.
Do you become concerned about disease after sustaining a mosquito bite?