This week’s guest blog was written by Tom Smith, West Nile Virus Program Administrator, in the Penn State York County Extension Office.
Has your yard been invaded by a new kind of mosquito?
Residents in communities throughout Pennsylvania are reporting concerns of a striped, daytime biting mosquito. This mosquito, the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), has been introduced into our region. Asian Tiger mosquitoes behave a little different than what people associate with mosquitoes. Their eggs are laid in containers before water is present. Then, when it rains, the eggs hatch. They are weak flyers and only travel a quarter mile. As they travel, new breeding sources are found, allowing Asian Tigers to expand their range. As adults they will rest in any area that is moist and shaded, taking advantage of shrubs to ground cover such as ivy.
If you are experiencing Asian Tiger mosquitoes, take time to inspect your property.
Look for any source that can collect water (see the tips in our August 13, 2012 blog). Only one bucket, tire, or tarp sitting behind a shed is needed to make your yard unbearable. Other items such as kiddy toys to the corrugated piping used to extend gutter downspouts will become a breeding source due to collecting water. Since eggs are laid prior to water being present, even something as simple as a cut off fence post can breed Asian Tigers. In their native range of Asia, this mosquito lays its eggs in broken off bamboo stalks and tree holes, so human made containers are ideal replacements.
Many people who do keep their yards clean can still experience Asian Tiger mosquitoes. As with any mosquito concern, we recommend using an insect repellent and following the label (see our June 12, 2012 and June 18, 2012 blogs). Another recommendation is to take an electric fan outside. Asian Tigers don’t like the wind so a fan will help keep them away.
Until next time,