3 Jul 2009

Southern saltmarsh mosquito believed eradicated here

6:15 am on 3 July 2009

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand believes it has eradicated a potentially dangerous Australian insect - at a cost of $75 million.

Spraying to kill the southern saltmarsh mosquito - a carrier of the debilitating Ross River virus in Australia - began over a decade ago when it was discovered in Napier.

Aerial spraying in the last site of infestation, in Marlborough, ended this week.

MAF Biosecurity says there have been no signs of the mosquito for a year, although it will be another 12 months before its eradication is certain.