Tembusu virus (TMUV) is an important emerging arthropod-borne virus that may cause encephalitis in humans and has been isolated in regions of southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Thailand, and China. Currently, detection and identification of TMUV are limited to research laboratories, because quantitative rapid diagnostic assays for the virus do not exist. We describe the development of sensitive and specific conventional and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays for detecting TMUV RNA in infected cell culture supernatant and Culex tarsalis mosquitoes. We used this assay to document the replication of TMUV in Cx. tarsalis, where titers increased 1,000-fold 5 days after inoculation. These assays resulted in the detection of virus-specific RNA in the presence of copurified mosquito nucleic acids. The use of these rapid diagnostic assays may have future applications for field pathogen surveillance and may assist in early detection, diagnosis, and control of the associated arthropod-borne pathogens.