These are the nasty buggers. The ones that bite ALL day long. The ones that are striped, just like a tiger. While they don’t have fangs like a tiger, their bite sometimes feels like it. The Asian tiger mosquito has invaded our area.
Originally from Southeast Asia, over the past few decades it’s invaded North America and has become a substantial pest in many areas. Asian tiger mosquitoes were first found in North America in Houston in 1985 in a shipping container of used tires shipped in to be retread. Since then they have spread across the Southeast, and up the East Coast. They can transmit West Nile Virus, Yellow fever, Dengue fever, St. Louis encephalitis and others. After talking with my Lyme doctor, I’m not sure that Lyme disease isn’t transmitted through mosquitos either, although the CDC says otherwise.
The females bite. They use the blood to grow their eggs. They don’t actually eat the blood. Females are the larger of the species too. Males are generally 20% smaller and don’t bite. The females lay their eggs near water, not directly into water as most other mosquitos do. But water is the key. Even running water. You need to make sure that your yard is free of any standing water. Mosquitos need only an ounce of water, about a soda cap full, to lay their eggs. Mosquitos actually eat the glucose in plants. So when the females aren’t biting you they generally hang out in dense foliage on the underside of leaves sucking the plant juice.
From the egg, the next phase of development after about ten days they become larvae. These larvae wriggle around and are called “wrigglers”. Look in a pool of water this summer that’s been standing for a while and you’ll see them. Next is the pupae stage and they are sometimes called “tumblers” in this stage because of their tumbling motion when disturbed in water. Adult mosquitos then emerge. From egg to adult can take as little as 7 to 14 days.
Asian tiger mosquitoes don’t travel very far from where they were born. Generally no more than about 150 feet. So once again, it is very important to get rid of any standing water in and around your yard to eliminate breeding sites.
People often ask what happens to mosquitos in the winter. The some eggs winter over in dried up pools. Once covered over with water in the spring or early summer their development begins.
The reason these guys are so good at transmitting diseases is that they don’t discriminate. The female will bite squirrels, dogs, birds, deer and other animals.
Barrier spray treatments will kill the Asian tiger mosquito on contact and when we spray the dense bushes around your yard we put up the preventive barrier that mosquitos won’t penetrate when they try to feed on the glucose in plants. If they do, we’ve got them! It will kill mosquitos. Make sure you’re diligent in tipping water over in your yard. Check out our mosquito prevention post for additional recommendations regarding the 4 R’s of Tick & Mosquito Prevention and other mosquito control tips.