How to Identify the Asian Tiger Mosquito

The Aedes Albopictus or Asian Tiger mosquito is a dangerous pest, rapidly expanding its geographic distribution across the United States. What was formerly a problem for the Southeastern United States is quickly reaching as far north as Massachusetts, (including Fall River & the South Shore areas) across through the Southern Midwest and as far west as Arizona. The Asian Tiger’s annoying daytime eating habits make them especially frustrating, but the real threat is from the potential diseases they carry such as Zika virus, chikungunya, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (Triple E), dengue, West Nile Virus and more.Asian-Tiger-Mosquito-in-Massachusetts

Identifying an Asian Tiger Mosquito in Massachusetts

While the Asian Tiger’s daytime feeding habits are likely to alert you to the type of mosquito buzzing about, there are some very specific visual cues as well. The adult Asian Tiger mosquito is quite easy to recognize with alternating black shiny scales & white scales giving it a striped appearance. The striped appearance is carried out on the Asian Tiger’s legs which are black with white scales at each segment. These features give the mosquito its common namesake as the Asian Tiger.

Zika-virus-mosquito-Asian-Tiger-South-Shore-MAWhen looking for a quick distinction between the Aedes Aegypti (not typically found in Massachusetts) & the Asian Tiger (Aedes Albopictus), the white stripe down the center of the head and thorax is an easy characteristic to identify. This is good information for traveling to the Southeastern United States, Caribbean and other tropical climates where the Aedes Aegypti is a more efficient transmitter of dangerous pathogens and is also a daytime feeder.

What Makes Asian Tiger Mosquitoes a Concern in Massachusetts?

Not only does the Asian Tiger mosquito carry a variety of dangerous illnesses as listed above, but they thrive in human habitats. According to the University of Florida Entomology Department, the Asian Tiger is a container breeder, meaning standing water found in everyday items in yards and city lots (tires, barrels, buckets, even a bottle cap is big enough) are their choice breeding grounds. This leads to large populations within city and suburban areas that are less susceptible to mosquitoes of other varieties. With its presence in Massachusetts, these characteristics will allow the population to grow, even in industrial areas such as Fall River.

Arthur and Elisabet of Mosquito Squad

Father-daughter duo with Mosquito Squad. Arthur Rodrigues is the owner of Mosquito Squad of Fall River and the South Shore.

Along with its daytime feeding habits, the Asian Tiger mosquito is an “aggressive biter” not easily deterred by swatting and other physical threats. With this in mind, a great way to lower the threat of Asian Tiger mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases is to eliminate standing water in your yard by following the 5 T’s of mosquito control & enlisting professional mosquito control services from Mosquito Squad of Fall River or Mosquito Squad of the South Shore. Our best-selling traditional mosquito spray barrier treatment can eliminate 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard. Call today to sign up for the season. 508-536-4855

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