Southern California is plagued by a tropical mosquito with a hunger for human ankles.
The Aedes mosquito originates from a tropical climate, arrived in California over a decade ago and has now spread to every continent in the world.
The insects appear to have migrated to southern California this summer near the San Fernando Valley and San Diego area, according to a report from CBS News.
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These bugs are different from most mosquitos because they do not need large bodies of water to survive. The Aedes only need a small amount of water — less than a quarter inch — and prefer to stay in shady outdoor areas. They are described as black with white stripes across their legs and bodies.
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Instead of biting once to feed off human blood, the Aedes prefers to bite rapidly and is more aggressive. These mosquitoes target humans throughout the day and do not stick to the early morning or early evening schedules of other bugs.
“They’re very aggressive, they’re daytime biters and they can survive on the smallest amount of water,” Anais Medine Diaz, an inspector with the LA County Vector Control, told CBS.
“They like to hover around in shady places, so if you want to go outdoors and relax, and your patio furniture is next to some plants, that’s probably where your mosquitos are too.”
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Aedes mosquitos are poor flyers compared to other mosquitoes and hover above the ground. So they often target human ankles. Experts noted that if a person is bitten in an area more than once, there could be a mosquito breeding ground nearby.
These bugs are capable of spreading diseases like yellow fever and Zika but are not believed to carry the West Nile Virus.
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