The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is an aggressive day-biting mosquito native to Southeast Asia. It is an important vector of diseases such as Dengue fever, Eastern Equine encephalitis, and Chikungunya virus.
Vector control agencies across California want to alert residents of this harmful pest and ask for assistance in monitoring the Asian Tiger Mosquito. We’ve included a photo of this mosquito for identification. If you’re really diligent, you might capture one alive or with clear sticky tape to assist in identification of this day-biting mosquito. If you’re like us, it will be difficult to identify from the splat it leaves on your arm after you’ve killed it. Nevertheless, one of the chief characteristics of the Asian Tiger Mosquito is that it bites during the day. If you do identify this mosquito, please contact your local county vector control office.
The following information about preventing the Asian Tiger Mosquito is thanks to the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.
The Asian Tiger Mosquito is known as a “Container Breeder” because it deposits its eggs in small containers rather than the larger areas used by most mosquito species. The eggs of the Asian Tiger Mosquito are glued to the sides of containers just above the water line, and hatch when the water level rises. The mosquito develops from larva to adult in about seven days. In southern California, experience indicates that they thrive in humid microclimates, such as dense collections of potted plants that are frequently watered.
What can you do to help control ATM in your yard?
Getting rid of standing water containers of any size is very important. Common breeding sites are on patios and in backyards. Residents are urged to do the following:
- Search for and discard any containers, cans, buckets, or old tires around the home
- Remove any saucers from beneath potted plants and drill drain holes in all decorative flowerpots
- Dump and drain any standing water around the home and wipe the containers thoroughly with a towel to remove any eggs
- Do not store water in uncovered buckets or rain barrels. Ensure rain barrels are completely sealed to prevent mosquitoes from entering
- Empty birdbaths and small fountains completely or clean them thoroughly every 3 days
- Clean out rain gutters and lawn drains to ensure water does not collect
- Water plants at the bottom near the soil, not the top
- Regularly check gardens for potential breeding sites. Talk to your neighbors about preventing mosquitoes from breeding
Who should I call if I find one of these mosquitoes?
If you are a resident of the County of Santa Clara and you think that you have found or are bitten by small, black-and-white striped mosquitoes during the day contact the SCCVCD at (408) 918-4770, fill an online request for service, or drop us a message at http://twitter.com/#!/SCCVCD. Those with digital cameras can send pictures and locations of specimens via email email@example.com with “ATM” in the subject line. If possible, preserve the specimen until you get contacted by one of our technicians.