The Gist: An invasive, disease-spreading mosquito is rapidly making its way across America, and Georgians are urged to be alert. The Asian tiger mosquito, known for its distinct white stripes, is a carrier of several diseases including dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika virus.
What You Need to Know: Zachary Smith, a seasoned pest control professional at PestDude.com, has cautioned residents of Georgia about the accelerating spread of the Asian tiger mosquito. Smith cites climate change and human transportation as key factors enhancing the insect’s distribution across the country. Though these mosquitoes’ associated diseases are not prevalent in the US, their increasing presence raises concerns about a potential surge in the future.
By the Numbers:
- The Asian tiger mosquito was first detected in Texas in 1985.
- It can lay its eggs in as little as a bottle cap full of water.
- PestDude.com has reported a significant increase in calls related to this mosquito.
Why It Matters: The Asian tiger mosquito poses a significant public health risk due to its ability to transmit various diseases. It’s a highly adaptable species, thriving in diverse environments from urban to rural areas, and from temperate to tropical climates. Unlike many other mosquito species, it is active during the day, especially in the early morning and late afternoon.
Georgians are urged to be vigilant, particularly those traveling interstate and individuals with yards.
What’s Next?: The best way to curtail the spread of the Asian tiger mosquito is by eliminating standing water around homes and businesses, as this is the mosquito’s preferred egg-laying habitat. People are encouraged to use mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when traveling, especially from east to west. Additionally, supporting community-wide mosquito control initiatives, such as trapping, surveillance programs, public education campaigns, and mosquito control measures like larviciding and adulticiding, can help manage the mosquito population.
Smith concludes, “Individuals are advised to use repellent while traveling, and those with yards should eliminate standing water to help control the mosquito’s proliferation.”