The Asian Tiger Mosquito
Many exotic pests have invaded the US. In recent years, aided by ever increasing trade and transport with countries around the world. One of the most serious arrivals has the Asian tiger mosquito, scientific name Aedes albopictus. A native of Asia, this mosquito was first found in the continental US in 1985 as a pest in Houston, Texas. Within just three years, infestations were discovered in most southern states east of the Mississippi, and as far north as Illinois and Delaware. The Asian tiger mosquito is still expanding its range, and now can be found as far north as Minnesota.
The Bite of the Tiger
The Asian tiger mosquito is a beautiful mosquito: fragile black body with white bands and a distinctive white “racing stripe” down its back. Like all mosquitoes, only the female bites, but this mosquito is a real tiger! In contrast to most of our mosquitoes, she bites in the daytime. She will flit in and out around your knees and ankles persistently looking for a good feeding site. She may even follow you inside. You often don’t hear her buzzing in your ear, like other mosquitoes, so she is called a “silent” biter. You may come inside after a late afternoon on your patio to find you have a half-dozen closely spaced bites, when you swear you never even felt a mosquito!
A New Backyard Pest
Because of her biology and nasty biting habits, the Asian tiger mosquito is destined to become a major pest. You could be breeding them in your own backyard! She lays her eggs in standing water in old tires, cans and buckets, Wheel barrows, tree holes-nearly anything containing water. The eggs hatch into larvae (wigglers), turn into pupae (tumblers), and emerge as hungry blood-feeding adults in as little as two weeks.
Controlling the Asian Tiger Mosquito
Fogging and sprays can give only temporary control, a few days at best. The only long-term solution is to track down all the potential breeding sites around your home, remove the water, and prevent new water from accumulating. Some containers cannot be emptied, and these can be treated with a special larvicide to kill the larvae and prevent them from emerging as adults.
Stop Raising Mosquitoes in Your Yard and Home
- Cans and Buckets. Discard them, store them inside, or turn them upside down.
- Old Tires. Store in a basement or shed where they won’t collect rainwater.
- Barrels and Garbage Cans. Drain them and store tightly covered or upside down.
- Roof Gutters. Clean out leaves and debris that trap and hold water. Repair sagging gutters.
- Bird Baths. Change and clean the water every few days.
- Wading Pools. Change the water every few days, but make sure that the water you dump out drains away. Turn upside down when not in use.
- Canoes and Boats. Cover with a tight-fitting tarp, or turn upside down. Open drain plug and tilt boat so water flows out.
- Ornamental Ponds. Stock with small fish that will eat developing mosquitoes.
- Puddles and Swampy Areas. Grade to drain off the water, or fill with dirt.
- Flower Pots and Vases. Drain standing water from pot saucers and change water in outdoor vases every couple of days.
- Bromeliads. Check leaf bases for water and mosquito larvae.
- Leaky Faucets and Hoses. Repair leaking faucets and drain area beneath.
- Tarps or Plastic Sheets. Make sure that coverings on boats, swimming pools, compost piles, etc. are pulled tight and sloped so that rainwater runs off.
- Pet or Livestock Watering Pans. Empty frequently, clean, and refill.
- Wheelbarrows. Store under cover in a basement or shed or upside down.
- Drainage Basins. Remove stagnant water from sump pits, dry wells, or drainage basins.
- Drainage Ditches. Make sure that water flows freely.
- Cesspools and Septic Tanks. Make sure systems are tightly-covered, operating properly, and not overflowing.
- Storm Drains. Check to see that water flows freely and is not blocked by leaves and debris.
- Tree Holes. Remove stumps or fill stumps or tree holes with sand or other filler.
Calling a local professional pest control company will always be your most effective and convenient solution when it comes to mosquito control at your property. For trusted service you can rely on, give us a call at (561) 791-2400.