An exotic mosquito that has the potential to spread deadly diseases has been detected in north Queensland.
The adult Asian tiger mosquito was collected in a routine monitoring trap at Cairns port late last week and is believed to have arrived on an international vessel.
The Asian tiger mosquito can bite dozens of times a minute. It is capable of spreading diseases such as chikungunya virus, Ross River virus, dengue and yellow fever.
Although it is yet to establish itself on the mainland, populations have existed in the Torres Strait Islands for about a decade.
Mosquito researcher Nigel Beebe said the tiger mosquito was making a “world domination” move.
“We don’t want that thing here, we are trying very hard to keep it out,” he said on Tuesday.
“Modelling has suggested it will go as far as Melbourne and Adelaide. We call it the barbecue buster and people will really dislike it because it will hammer them.”
Authorities acted swiftly to kill any other adult mosquitoes that may have entered Cairns port.
A Department of Agriculture spokeswoman said potential breeding and resting sites had been treated with a residual insecticide and fogging had been undertaken.
Additional mosquito traps had been deployed and were being monitored daily.
“There have been no further Asian tiger mosquitoes detected,” the spokeswoman said.