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Rutgers University In Fight To Control Asian Tiger Mosquito in US

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS) – An aggressive, hard-to-kill mosquito is making its presence more widely known in our area, and efforts are under way to try and control it.

The Asian tiger mosquito has a distinctive, black-and-white-striped body.  It’s highly invasive, appearing so far in 30 states.

Dr. Randy Gaugler, director of the Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, says there are some health concerns.

“It transmits some nasty diseases including viruses such as the Chikungunya virus, which has been in Africa and in Europe, and eventually, I assume, will make its way over here,” he says.  “Also, it’s implicated in the transmission of West Nile virus. It is certainly a vector of dog heartworm.  So it’s definitely a public health nuisance, no question about it.”

Dr. Gaugler is a part of a $4-million research project by the US Department of Agriculture to attempt control of the Asian tiger mosquito.

“It includes operational control,” says Gaugler, “going out and using larvicide, trying to knock this mosquito out, trying to develop a strategy that allows us to manage this thing.”

Final recommendations on what to do are expected next year.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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