Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

CC BY-NC-ND by calafellvalo

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes
Asian tiger mosquitoes, also known as the forest mosquito, are native to tropical and subtropical portions of Southeastern Asia, but have spread to many countries throughout the world during the past few decades due to international travel and trade. Their spread throughout the world is also due to global warming, though they lay eggs tough enough to survive extremely cold weather.

These pesky mosquitoes have a body and legs that are covered with black and white stripes, giving them the name "Tiger Mosquitoes." When they move away from their native wetlands and into human habitats, they can become more than pesky, however. They are known to transmit over 20 diseases including West Nile fever, dengue fever, yellow fever virus and Chikungunya fever, which they in fact have done all over Asia.

Male Asian Tiger mosquitoes feed on nectar while females have an elongated proboscis used to extract blood, which is then used to produce eggs.

Asian tiger mosquitoes are relatively new to the United States and experts now warn that they can truly wreak havoc across the country. They came to American shores in 1985 and widespread disease hasn't yet occurred but the potential certainly exists.

Since these mosquitoes were initially sighted in Houston, Texas, they spread across 26 states, moving as far north as Chicago, as far east as Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as far west as Nebraska, and all across the South, including Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia. California has recently been added to the list, as well.

These mosquitoes are aggressive. They aren't like the mosquitoes that Americans are used to, which feed mostly as dusk and at night. Asian tiger mosquitoes feed all day and night, biting not only human beings but also dogs, cats, birds and all kinds of other domestic and wild animals. Their aggressive nature also contributed to their being called tiger mosquitoes. They are also smaller and faster than most other mosquitoes and require very little water to breed and survive.

The best way to avoid bites from these dangerous mosquitoes is to dump out all uncovered standing water near the home, which they need to reproduce, to use an effective mosquito repellent and to cover up with long sleeves and pants when outside to protect the body.

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