Protect yourself from nasty Asian Tiger Mosquitos

We all know how annoying a mosquito bite can be, but some mosquito bites are more dangerous than others and this year, residents are reminded to protect themselves against a particularly invasive and bothersome Asian tiger mosquito.

Introducing the Asian Tiger Mosquito

If you haven’t noticed one in Central Pennsylvania yet, then you probably haven’t been paying attention. The mosquitos are black with white stripes.

Asian tiger mosquito populations typically increase around mid-July, peak in mid-August and taper off in September as nighttime temperatures drop and unlike most mosquito varieties, they bite not just dusk and dawn, but during daytime hours as well.

The mosquitos prefer mammals – including humans – as a source of their blood meal. Unlike other species that are attracted to swamps and retention ponds, Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to use water-filled artificial containers to breed. Any artificial container that holds water – bird baths, clogged rain gutters, flower pots, buckets, old tires, tarps – can breed Asian tiger mosquitoes. Even something as small as a water-filled bottle cap can be the perfect place for one of these pests to lay their eggs, which will emerge into larvae and then into adult mosquitoes.

Asian tiger mosquitoes have a very short flight range compared to other mosquitoes; typically, they do not fly more than 200 yards from where they are born. This little-known tidbit is important because homeowners are likely pestered by mosquitoes breeding on their own property or on a neighbor’s property.

How to prevent them

The easiest way residents can eliminate Asian tiger mosquitoes is to empty water from artificial containers (bird baths, kids’ toys, flower pots, etc) and store them so they will not collect water in the future.

If you can clean out your gutters, that’s another way to prevent mosquitos from breeding.

Eliminating breeding habitats is the No. 1 defensive strategy in reducing Asian tiger mosquitoes; without the ability to lay eggs, populations will dwindle quickly.

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