When I moved to Los Angeles years ago, I was told by native Angeleno friends that the city without humidity also definitely did not have mosquitoes.

What is that whizzing sound then? The welts on my ankles? My favorite cafe has taken to selling bottles of insect repellent next to the cash register. Were my friends wrong, or should we acknowledge that this winged scourge is part of life in the Golden State? 

Since 2011, scientists have tracked an invasive mosquito species in parts of California: the Aedes aegypti. These black-and-white-striped “ankle-biters,” which can transmit dengue fever, Zika virus and yellow fever, have been found up and down the state.

Alec Gerry, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, said it was not necessarily that the mosquito population had increased in size but rather that the habits of this invasive species were far more noticeable.

The native Culex mosquito tends to emerge at night,…

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