Asian Tiger Mosquito

1280px Aedes AlbopictusAsian Tiger mosquito goes by the name Aedes Albopictus and it is a black and white, small mosquito measuring ¼ inch in length. It gets the name from the color pattern it has of black and white stripe running down the center of the back and head. The mosquitos lay eggs in water filled containers that could be natural or artificial including tree cavities and old tires that easily collect water. They actually never lay eggs in marshes and ditches like most mosquitoes do and they do not fly more than ½ mile from the breeding site. But unfortunately the mosquito has been found to be infected with West Nile virus and Lacrosse encephalitis viruses.

Even though this mosquito is a persistent biter, the bites are not as irritating to most people. They can however become very bothersome even when you only have a few of them in your neighborhood. This is actually one of the most nuisance mosquitoes in some southern cities.

Habits and habitat

Like the rest of the species, the Asian tiger mosquito females need blood meals for them to produce eggs. However the mosquitoes are different from most because they are most active during the day and typically feed during these hours and not at night. The males are not biters and they get their feeds from plant nectar instead of blood. The mosquitoes tend to be active all year long in warm regions, but they are likely to overwinter in areas with temperate climates. Birdbaths, clogged drains, flower pots and tires make the perfect breeding grounds for the mosquitos and this is where the females lay their eggs. The females lay their eggs a few days after a blood feed.

Life cycle

The larvae of Asian tiger mosquitoes are wormlike and swim in wriggling motion which is why they are sometimes referred to as wrigglers. A few days after they hatch, they measure ¼ inch long and are completely grown before they then change to comma shaped pupae referred to as tumblers because they have a tumbling motion when the water they are in is disturbed. Their development ends at pupa stage where they become adult mosquitoes and emerge at the water surface. The adults need around ten to 14 days to emerge from pupae after hatching takes place in summer months.

These mosquitoes spend winters in the egg stage and hatch into larvae when covered in water during summer and spring. The mosquito larvae feed on very small debris bits and bacteria found in water where they are hatched.

Control

Considering that the Asian tiger mosquito remains active during the day, fogging might not work very well in controlling them because of atmospheric conditions during the day. Fogging is space spraying that is done using specially equipped trucks. The best control approach would be to eliminate the breeding places. You can start by removing all water filled containers, including buckets, food containers and old tires from the yard. Pet water dishes, plastic wading pools and birdbaths can also be emptied once every week to reduce chances of breeding. Roof gutter cleaning can also go a long way in keeping water collection minimal.

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