Significant number of mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika virus found in Springdale

ST. GEORGE — The local mosquito control agency recently told the Springdale Town Council that a mosquito usually found in Asia that can carry the Zika virus has been found in Springdale.

Undated close-up image of the Aedes mosquito | Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, St. George News

During the Sept. 8 meeting of the Town Council, Southwest Mosquito Abatement and Control District Manager Sean Amodt said the mosquito, known by its scientific name Aedes aegypti, has been found in traps in Springdale. 

This is a mosquito we don’t want,” Amodt said. 

The Aedes mosquito was a concern in 2017 when the potential Zika carriers were found in nearby Clark County, Nevada. Amodt said a few of the mosquitoes were trapped in St. George in 2020 but were quickly eradicated. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a pregnant woman is bit by a mosquito infected with the Zika virus, it can spread to their fetus and cause birth defects.

File photo showing Southwest Mosquito Abatement and Control District manager Sean Amodt analyzing adult mosquitoes in testing facility, Washington City, Utah, Aug. 9, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St George News

Amodt said the canyon area of Springdale has “quite the population” of the Aedes mosquito, adding that the main places they can flourish are in containers with moisture inside from the recent rains. He said it only takes a capful of water to be a mosquito habitat.

“Mostly they’re a container mosquito, so if you have any containers on your property, it just takes a little water,” Amodt said. “Recent storms attracted mosquitoes to those spots.”

He said it’s important for people to make sure there isn’t stagnant water in outdoor containers and not to count on the change in the seasons to completely eliminate the problem. 

“The cold winter will probably take care of some of them, but these particular mosquitoes plant eggs by water sources that can hatch later.”

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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