Asian tiger mosquitoes, also known as forest mosquitoes, are an invasive species of mosquito. Originally from Southeast Asia, they're now found in parts of the United States. Here are five things you need to know about Asian tiger mosquitoes.
How can you identify them?
Asian tiger mosquitoes are quite distinctive, so you don't need to be a mosquito expert to identify them. They are black with thick white stripes on their bodies and legs; this pattern is how they got the name "tiger mosquitoes." These mosquitoes are very small at only 0.5 centimeters (0.2 inches) in length.
Where are they found?
Asian tiger mosquitoes arrived in the United States back in 1985. They hitched a ride in a shipment of used tires that was sent from Japan to Houston. The mosquitoes have been expanding their range ever since, and are now found throughout the southern United States. The mosquitoes can be found as far north as Maine.
Like native mosquitoes, Asian tiger mosquitoes tend to be found around bodies of water such as lakes and wetlands and in densely vegetated areas such as forests.
Are they worse than native mosquitoes?
Native mosquitoes tend to feed between dawn and dusk, so during the day, they aren't much of a nuisance. Asian tiger mosquitoes, on the other hand, prefer to feed during the day, so it's harder to avoid them. Worse, their bites are more irritating than the bites of native mosquitoes, so you can expect more itching if you're bitten.
Another issue with Asian tiger mosquitoes is that they're smaller than native mosquitoes. This makes it easier for them to go undetected, or worse, slip through your window screens and into your house.
How can you control them outdoors?
Like native mosquitoes, Asian tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. According to Washington University in St. Louis, the eggs can still survive if the water evaporates, so you'll need to act quickly to get rid of all sources of standing water on your property before eggs can be deposited. Here are possible locations where this standing water can be found:
· Old tires;
· Watering cans;
· Empty bottles or cans;
· Clogged roof gutters;
· Pet water bowls;
· Flower pots;
· Over-watered lawns and gardens;
· Unchlorinated or improperly chlorinated swimming pools.
You should also treat your backyard with lawn insect repellent to keep adult mosquitoes away. This repellent should be sprayed on your lawn, shrubs, and around the perimeter of your property. The goal of this treatment is to create a barrier to keep Asian tiger mosquitoes out of your yard. For best results, you'll need to repeat this treatment many times throughout the year, as it only lasts for two to three weeks.
How can you keep them out of your house?
Controlling these mosquitoes outdoors will go a long way towards keeping them out of your house, but you should also take precautions indoors. Repair torn window screens, and if your budget allows for it, replace your standard window screens with tightly-woven, fine-mesh screens. These screens are designed to keep out tiny insects like Asian tiger mosquitoes.
You also need to be careful about the kinds of decorative plants you bring into your home. Asian tiger mosquitoes have been brought into people's homes in ornamental plants like bamboo. These plants are shipped in water, and Asian tiger mosquitoes can lay their eggs in this water. To keep yourself safe, don't buy plants that ship in water, and if you're concerned about mosquito eggs in your plants, spray the soil with insecticide before bringing it into your house.
If you need help getting rid of Asian tiger mosquitoes, don't hesitate to contact a pest control company to learn more about this topic.