This mosquito has the perfect name for its species and is very easy to identify: the Asian tiger mosquito (scientific name Aedes albopictus) is black with white stripes. Its place of origin is Asia, though you would never think so since, these days, they’ve densely populated much of America.
Where Did Asian Tiger Mosquitoes Come From?
Asian tiger mosquitoes made their debut in America in the 1980s, stowed away in tires shipped from Asia. This cargo docked in Maryland, where the mosquito first made its presence known throughout Baltimore. Mosquitoes are highly attracted to CO2 and can smell it up to half a mile away. In 1988, the Public Health Service Act required all tire shipments to be fumigated, but with the numbers that already made their home here in America, the damage had already been done.
Asian Tiger Mosquito Diseases
In 2001, Asian tiger mosquitoes were tested in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, and many tested positive for West Nile virus, EEE (Eastern equine encephalitis), and heartworm disease. Each one of these viruses starts with symptoms similar to the flu. It begins with a fever, then goes into body aches, often progressing to severe symptoms if not treated properly.
The Asian tiger mosquito also carries dengue fever and yellow fever. Symptoms of dengue and yellow fever are nausea, vomiting, rash, aches, and pain (eye, muscle, joint, and pain). When it comes to dengue fever, 1 out of 20 people will have severe dengue symptoms that last between 2-7 days. After being diagnosed, most individuals recover after a week with proper treatment.
Asian Tiger Mosquito Breeding Locations
Female mosquitoes need proteins and amino acids for the nourishment of their eggs. The Asian tiger mosquito has the same life cycle as any other mosquito, so it needs calm standing water. Birdbaths, ponds, and puddles all house Asian tiger mosquito eggs. These mosquitoes are known to fly no more than half a mile away from their breeding ground. These mosquitoes are in full effect from June until September each year, biting on the lower part of the body during sunrise and right before sunset. So, you will need all-day protection from these insects.
To prevent yourself from getting a mosquito bite, regardless of the species, insect repellent is still useful. However, other practices might be even more effective at mosquito prevention: to control unwanted breeding, get rid of any standing water, junk in the yard, clogged gutters, and any items that can hold water. Also, check out our 7 T’s of mosquito control and use it as a checklist to educate yourself on controlling mosquitoes. Another preventable measure to consider is working with your neighbor to manage breeding areas for Asian tiger mosquitoes.
The Asian tiger mosquito may have stripes like a tiger, but believe us, this is something that you would not like to see on a safari ride, let alone live in your yard. Call today to have Mosquito Squad treat your yard.