Polk County is on the lookout for a new mosquito species that scientists say carry yellow fever.

What You Need To Know

Aedes scalpularis was recently found in South Florida, but Polk County entomologist Jackson Mosely said Central Florida could be a location we could see them next.

“We have the habitat that they like,” said Mosely. “Aedes scapularis was found in the early 1900’s, and they thought it was an isolated case. But now they’ve found some that have moved past the keys and through South Florida.”

Mosely works for Polk County’s mosquito control unit and he said they place dozens of mosquito traps throughout the county to catch and test the insect.

“We check those traps weekly,” said Mosely. “So we know how the mosquitoes respond to certain chemicals and to know what type of mosquitoes are out there.”

So, if Aedes scalpularis makes it to Central Florida, Mosely says they will be the first to know about it.

Scientists at the University of Florida say Aedes scapularis can spread yellow fever and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus.

Miami-Dade County is also on the lookout for the bug that Smithsonian Magazine says we haven’t seen in over 75 years.

“This species is not very well established yet, so we have not seen any cases of disease transmission,” says Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control Research Director Chalmers Vasquez. “But we will keep an eye on it as we do with other mosquitoes that live here.”

The Polk County Mosquito Control unit suggests wearing bug repellent product that contains deet.​