1 Jul 2010

New Zealand wipes out the vicious 'Aussie mozzie'

3:31 pm on 1 July 2010

New Zealand has become the first country in the world to wipe out the "Aussie mozzie" - the southern saltmarsh mosquito.

After an 11-year eradication programme, health and biosecurity officials have declared New Zealand free of the insect, a vicious day-time biter capable of carrying the Ross River virus.

The last larvae were found in December 2008.

Biosecurity Minister David Carter says the economic impact of the mosquito becoming permanently established here was estimated at about $120 million in direct health costs as well as lost productivity, the likely impact on tourism and the costs of control.

Health authorities will continue mosquito surveillance.