The Asian Tiger Mosquito (also called Aedes albopictus) was brought to the United States during the 1980's in used truck tires shipped from Japan. When the tires were moved from state to state, the Asian Tiger Mosquito spread. Now it is found in much of the eastern United States, including North Carolina.
Biology of the Asian
The life of a Tiger Mosquito has four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Larva and pupa are always found in water. Like other mosquitoes, the female Asian Tiger Mosquito needs blood to produce eggs. The Tiger Mosquito eill bite many tiypes of animals, including people. It likes to bite in the daytime, mostly in early morning or late afternoon. The bite is no worse than that of other mosquitoes, but large numbers of Tiger Mosquitoes can be a problem around home or work.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito lays its eggs inside containers that will hold water. These can be man-made containers such as tires, tin cans, buckets, bird baths, and clogged gutters, or they can be natural containers such as holes in trees or rocks. The Tiger Mosquito can be a problem around homes or in the woods because of many places it can breed. Eggs are not harmed by dry or cold weather. When flooded with water during summer, the eggs hatch. Even in a small container there can be hundreds of larvae. During warm weather, it may take only a week for the Tiger mosquito to grow from egg to adult. The adult Tiger Mosquito does not fly far, so it is most likely to be found close to its breeding place. In Southeastern North Carolina Asian Tiger Mosquitoes can be found around the house from May through October. The peak months for this mosquito are July and August.
Are spray trucks useful against the Tiger Mosquito? Mosquito spray trucks or Ultra Low Volume (ULV) cold foggers are designed to work in the evenings when temperatures are cooler. The Asian Tiger Mosquito prefers to fly during daylight hours. Ultimately the best control strategy to battle the Tiger Mosquito is to "Tip and Toss" all the containers holding water around the house. Removing the Larva can dramatically reduce the adult Asian Tiger Mosquito population around the house.
What does the Asian Tiger Mosquito look like?
The adult Tiger Mosquito is only about 1/8 inch long. It is black with white stripes on its legs and body. There is a single white stripe down the center of its head and back. These stripes give it the name "Tiger" Mosquito.
Problems caused by the Asian Tiger Mosquito. Overseas, the Asian Tiger Mosquito spreads disease, and it may spread diseases such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the U.S.
- Apply DEET-containing insect repellants according to the label directions.
- Avoid the outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, from dusk to dawn.
- Wear light-colored garments that cover your arms and legs, especially when you have to be outside between dusk and dawn.
Other Interesting Facts
- One Tiger Mosquito can bite up to ten times trying to complete its hunt for a blood meal.
- There are 45 (forty-five) different types of mosquitoes in Pender County.
- Rooting house plants inside can produce Asian Tiger Mosquito larval habitat inside your house.
- One female mosquito can lay up to 500 eggs in its lifetime.
- The average life expenctancy of an adult mosquito is about 3 weeks.
- Some mosquitoes can have as many as 12 generations per year.