To many people, a mosquito is a mosquito. Nowadays this is certainly not the case. There are more than 2,700 species of mosquitoes in the world, and 176 of these live in the United States. Out of the 176 that reside in the US, the most distinct is the Asian tiger mosquito.
This mosquito is not native to the US and made its way onto American soil in 1985 within a shipment of used tires from Asia, where the mosquito originated, bound for Texas. An article published by Rutgers University Center for Vector Biology best explains the breeding habits of this unwelcomed guest and why tires made the perfect way for this mosquito to enter the US through American ports.
“The Asian tiger mosquito is known as a “Container Breeder” because it deposits its eggs in small collections of contained water rather than the swamps or marshes used by most mosquito species. The eggs of the Asian tiger mosquito are glued to the sides of the containers and require a period of drying before they are ready to hatch. The Asian Tiger Mosquito will use almost any container that holds water long enough to complete its life cycle including flower pots, tin cans, plastic buckets, cemetery urns, and discarded tires.”
You may have noticed this mosquito if you have been nimble enough to squash one in action. What sets the Asian tiger mosquito apart in appearance to the average house mosquito, or Culex mosquito if you want to get technical, is its unique black and white pattern. The Asian Tiger’s coloration resembles that of a tiger, which is exactly how the mosquito got its name. Aside from this mosquito’s distinguishable appearance, its behavior also differs from that of your average run-of-the mill biter.
First, their bite packs more punch. Many people have indicated that the bite from the Asian tiger mosquito is more painful than other mosquitoes. Since this species is known to be an aggressive mosquito when it feeds, they have even been mistaken for bees as they will often converge and swarm their prey. While some mosquitoes seem to be thrown off track by waving them away, and will lose interest and move on, the tigers have that distinct tiger-like aggression, which is another reason for their name.
Like other mosquitoes, this mosquito can carry diseases including West Nile Virus. It’s important to know that not all mosquitoes carry diseases. Diseases are tested by local health departments. If and when infected mosquitoes are found, the health department does a great job of alerting the public to be more careful.
The most critical characteristic that sets the Asian apart from other mosquitoes is that it is relentless in its pursuit of a blood meal and is famous for being a day-feeding mosquito. It is common knowledge here in Columbia that mosquitoes feed at dusk and dawn. This behavior is what we expect from a mosquito; it is what we were always led to believe and this is the behavior residents are usually prepared to deal with. Residents need to become vigilant in exercising safe mosquito control practices. This includes instilling the expertise of a licensed mosquito control professional.
The place to exercise the most caution and the place you want the most protection is in your yard. For that we have a great solution and a way you can help make it most successful. We mist your yard to create a protective barrier that not only eliminates mosquitoes and ticks on contact, but also has a timed-release formula that keeps working up to 3 weeks. With our proactive protection throughout the season program, you don’t even need to pick up the phone. We re-treat your property every 3 weeks to make sure mosquitoes are out of sight and out of mind.
There is another thing you will also want to do to keep mosquitoes from making your yard their breeding ground. Mosquitoes need standing water to breed. Even the smallest containers can hold water and draw the attention of the devious Asian tiger mosquito. Do your best to get rid of standing water in your yard. Tip over planters, toys, and other water collecting objects.
To see how Mosquito Squad of Columbia can make sure your yard isn’t swarming with Asian tiger mosquitoes this summer, call us today.