Exotic Mosquito Interception at Auckland Port
Exotic mosquitoes have been found by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Quarantine staff during routine inspection at
the Ports of Auckland of a used cement-processing machine being imported from Malaysia.
The species has been identified as Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito. This species is of concern
because it may be a vector (transmitter) a number of diseases of public health significance, such as Chikungunya, Dengue
fever, Eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, Ross River virus disease, Venezuelan equine encephalitis,
Western equine encephalitis, and yellow fever.
The larvae and a pupa were found in a used cement-processing machine, which had been off-loaded from the MV Tasman
Challenger. Mature larvae, pupae and an emerging adult mosquito were found on Wednesday 8 December 2004, after the ship
had docked in Auckland.
Ministry of Health Chief Technical Officer for biosecurity (Health) Sally Gilbert said the cement processing machine
where the organisms were found were immediately treated with chlorine, then subsequently with other insecticides Bti and
"We're confident that these measures would have eradicated any other mosquitoes in the cement processing machine, but
the Auckland Regional Public Health Service has implemented a programme of enhanced surveillance. Health protection
staff are checking the surrounding area and placing a number of adult and larval mosquito traps in the vicinity," said
Ms Gilbert. . Exotic mosquitoes of public health significance have been intercepted on 32 occasions since January 1998.
Ms Gilbert said it was of concern to find the mosquito because of the implications it would hold for public health
should it become established in New Zealand.