With summer in full-force now, the nuisance of the mosquito becomes more concerning. Mosquitoes are linked to a variety of diseases such as malaria, encephalitis, and other blood spreading health ailments. If it is not bad enough that their bites are annoying, now you’ll really think twice about not taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites! A new breed of mosquito has found its way into U.S. territory- the Asian tiger mosquito.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Asian Tiger Mosquito was transported to the U.S. through tires that were shipped to Texas. This type of mosquito is most concerning because it bites anything in nature, feeds 24/7, and has been found to be more aggressive than other breeds of mosquitos.
It’s namesake of Tiger is for good reason considering it has white and black stripes and resembles that of a Tiger feline, however it also has the ferocious nature such as a “Wild Tiger” as well. Rutgers University Professor, Dina Fonseca states:
“You can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go.”
Although many types of mosquitoes pose health threats to Americans, the Asian tiger mosquito is known for its high potential to spread diseases. The pest has been found to transmit more than 20 various illnesses and disease including 2 strains of encephalitis, yellow fever, West Nile fever, dengue fever, chikaungunya, and more.
The CDC reports that since being transported to America in the 80s the breed of mosquito has been found in 26 states. The “typical breed” of mosquito likes warm environments, however the Asian Tiger is so tough and resilient that it’s eggs can endure and withstand the colder temperatures that occur during the harshest of winters.
Science News Reports there is a plus to this mosquito breed:
“If there’s a silver lining to this story, it might be this: The Asian tiger mosquito is displacing another disease-carrying mosquito species, Aedes aegypti. Every time a male Asian tiger mosquito mates with a female A. aegypti, chemicals in his semen make her sterile.”
But this also means Asian tiger mosquitoes are expanding their territory. Experts recommend removing all sources of standing water, wearing insect repellent and covering up with long sleeves and pants to avoid the bloodthirsty mosquitoes — and the diseases they spread.