As if mosquitoes are annoying enough at dusk, now they are coming out to bite during the day? That is the case for the people of New Jersey who are dealing with the Asian tiger mosquitoes that have decided to invade town.
According to the Daily Mail, ‘the Asian tiger is described as ‘extremely aggressive’ and an ‘obnoxious nuisance mosquito.’
The Asian tiger mosquito, also known as Aedes albopictus, is named for its distinctive black-and-white stripped legs and body markings.
ABC Local reported that the Asian tiger mosquitoes were first discovered in New Jersey in Monmouth County in 1995 and have spread far to the north since then.
“It is a major nuisance in Bergen and Passaic counties, according to the mosquito-control agencies in both places.”
Eric Green, the mosquito control officer for Passaic County, told The Record, “The Asian tiger mosquito is an extremely aggressive insect that has largely supplanted japonicus since 2008, especially in urban and suburban areas.”
Green also said that “the Asian tiger mosquito could be a more efficient disease vector, especially for West Nile virus. It bites in daytime and could put more people at risk.”
Pete Rendine, chief inspector with the mosquito control division of the Bergen County Public Works Department told The Record that Asian tiger mosquitoes “are the worst, nuisance-wise, because they are adapting to our climate. They are here to stay.”
It’s not only an aggressive bug, but the Aisan tiger mosquito is also a known vector for a variety of serious viral diseases, including West Nile virus, dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis ,and chikungunya fever, experts say.
The Record stated that among those diseases the two that are of main concern in the New Jersey area, and that of the northern climate in general, are equine encephalitis, which affects horses, and West Nile, which affects people.
During these warm summer months, officials are continuing to warn people about the dangers of the mosquitoes and of standing water, which is where they normally breed.
Any standing water, such as bird baths, kids pools, and even puddles should be either avoided or cleaned out after rain to help prevent the necessary habitat for the Asian tiger mosquitoes and other breeds need to have in order to lay their eggs.
So while these annoying little bugs seem to be here to pester the people of the New Jersey area, its best to keep your skin covered, use bug spray and remove or avoid any and all standing water in order to protect yourself from these pests.
[Image by James Gathany, CDC via Wikimedia Commons]