High-risk insects caught at New Zealand’s border

This section presents information on exotic mosquitoes and other insects caught at our border (international airports and seaports) by Aotearoa New Zealand’s mosquito surveillance programme.

It prevents exotic mosquitoes from establishing in New Zealand while highlighting which species are arriving at our border, where they are coming from, and how they are getting here. This knowledge helps maintain New Zealand's public health.

Surveillance Reports and Metadata

Report: High-risk insects caught at New Zealand’s border (Dec 2023) Download report PDF
Metadata: High-risk insects caught at the New Zealand border (Dec 2023) Download report PDF

About high-risk insects

Insects are able to travel internationally through multiple pathways. Exotic mosquitoes are considered high-risk insects in New Zealand due to their ability to spread serious infectious diseases such as Dengue Fever and Malaria.

Common practices preventing the spread of insects include spraying aircraft with insecticides, and freight cargo being sealed until entering inspection zones. Surveillance takes place at New Zealand’s international ports. 

When an interception is made the species and likely origin is recorded. Any interception where the origin is unknown is considered potentially international. Species are classified as:

  • Non-mosquitoes: Any insect that is not a mosquito, such as crane flies.
  • Exotic mosquitoes already in New Zealand: An international mosquito species that is established in New Zealand such as C. quinquefasciatus or A. notoscriptus.
  • Unidentifiable exotic (Unknown): The specimen has been lost or damaged beyond recognition.
  • New exotic species: Mosquitoes that are not established in New Zealand

While new exotic species are a direct threat to New Zealand's health, the other categories can assist in identifying routes that high-risk insects could use to cross our borders. A list of high and low-risk mosquito species can be found on the NZBioSecure website.


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