Eggs of the Asian tiger mosquito have been found in the UK for the first time, raising fears that a number of deadly diseases, including Zika, may one day be able to spread in the country.
The eggs were found near the village of Stanford, Kent, close to the Folkestone Ferry terminal. However, Public Health England (PHE) said there is currently no risk to the public.
A total of 15 Stanford residents received letters from Shepway District Council, warning them that the eggs had been discovered and that a pest control company would be visiting to spray their gardens.
The Asian tiger mosquito can also carry Dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya.
Resident Samantha Cox told The Mirror: "I expected them to come round in big suits and great big spray guns but it was all very quiet. It's just something they have to do. They sprayed the water butt and anything that might collect water. They said the spray creates an oil film and suffocates the eggs."
Jolyon Medlock, head of medical entomology at PHE, was quoted by the BBC as saying: "We regularly monitor mosquito species and look for any which are new to the UK. Enhanced monitoring of the area was implemented and no further evidence of this mosquito has so far been found. As a precaution we advised the local authority to use insecticide as a means of control."
It is thought the eggs might have been carried over on a truck from the continent. In 2015 Public Health England set up special traps at service stations and ferry ports to monitor for mosquitoes, although none were found.
The Zika virus is responsible for abnormalities in babies born to infected mothers and can sometimes be fatal. The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning the disease is likely to spread widely in Asia after its recent prevalence in South America.