- Size: Asian tiger mosquitoes are about 1/4-inch long.
- Color: This mosquito has a black body with a single white stripe down the back and silvery-white bands on their legs and thorax.
- Behavior: This mosquito is an aggressive biter that feeds throughout the day on a range of hosts, including humans, pets and wild animals. Asian tiger mosquito bites are more than just irritating; they are a potential concern for disease. The Asian mosquito is a potential carrier of several diseases, including encephalitis, dengue, West Nile virus and chikungunya.
This species passes through four life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Asian tiger mosquito eggs hatch into larvae when rain covers them with water in the spring and summer. The larvae turn into adults in as few as two weeks under ideal conditions. An adult tiger mosquito lives for about three weeks.
HabitatsAedes albopictus, better known as the Asian tiger mosquito, first arrived in the United States in the mid-1980s. As the name suggests, the Asian tiger mosquito is not native to the United States. These pests traveled here from Southeast Asia in 1985, hitchhiking to the United States in used truck tires imported from Asia. As the tires were distributed in different states, the Asian tiger mosquitoes spread.
They now live in at least 26 states, including most of the southeastern U.S., Texas, California and Hawaii. They prefer the warmer southern states but have been found as far north as Michigan and Minnesota.
Asian tiger mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist areas just above the water’s surface. You’ll find the eggs on the side of containers such as flower pots, birdbaths, tires, buckets, animal water dishes and kiddie pools. Female mosquitoes also lay eggs in tree holes or plants that have collected water. One Asian tiger mosquito can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime. Adults don’t fly very far, less than 200 meters, so they’re usually found near their breeding area.
Eggs can survive in both dry and cold conditions. In tropical and subtropical climates such as southern Texas and Florida, adult mosquitoes live and breed year-round. In temperate climates (areas with four seasons), adult tiger mosquitoes die off in cold weather, depositing their eggs near water. These eggs can survive into the warmer seasons.
Tips for ControlMosquitoes can get aggressive during the warmer parts of the year. When you want to spend time outdoors or simply enjoy a BBQ in the backyard, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself and to help reduce mosquito populations in your yard, including:
- Eliminate standing water and remove water-filled containers from your yard.
- Clean your gutters, bird baths or wading pools at least once a week.
- Limit outdoor activities in the early morning and late afternoon, when tiger mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, light-colored clothing and insect repellent with DEET.