Asian Tiger Mosquito
Mosquitoes are one of the world most prolific insects, and can be found in every country and every continent on the planet. They are the primary cause of many diseases, on top of being fairly annoying when night falls. Depending on the region, and especially in humid areas, these little bugs can come in thousands at a time, enough so to annoy anyone living there. The Asian Tiger Mosquito has a lot of similar characteristics to the other types, and provides some unique insights into this type of insect.
Native of Southeastern Asia, the Asian Tiger Mosquito, also called Forest Day Mosquito, has become more well known in the last decade because of how it has now invaded many other parts of the world. It used to be fairly localized in sub-tropical regions, but because of globalization, the transport of goods through means across countries, this insect is now present in many countries. The reason for its name is simply the appearance of the outer body, which is striped like a tiger. Of course, it’s hard to recognize without a microscope or at least a good look at them, but they have some specific features. Compared with other families, this mosquito is fairly small, at 2-10 mm of length, with males being smaller than females. They have long legs and antennas, allowing them to sense their environment and figure out where they are, and what constitute an attractive target. They like to live near water, like ponds or other humid areas, and can be found in wildlife.
Like many other insects, they are prone to carrying viruses and other diseases. The Asian Tiger Mosquito for example is a prime vector for the Yellow Fever virus and the West Nile virus. Both are currently restricted to specific regions of the world, but as the mosquito gets carried on ships and other transports to other countries, so does the virus. This family in particular has been known to spread diseases to new areas of the world, where immune systems of both humans and animals were not prepared to handle the new infection. Like any other mosquito, these little critters feed on blood in order to help develop their eggs, and can otherwise use nectar as food. Unlike many others, the Asian Tiger Mosquito often bites during the day, and not just at night, if someone were to venture near their homes. Since 1966, they have been spreading worldwide and are now one of the most widely spread family of mosquitoes. Once established in a part of the world, very little can be done. Insecticide can be used for local treatment but they will still remain near any source of water.
Overall, the Asian Tiger Mosquito is very similar to any other mosquito, and is not something most people like to deal with. They carry diseases, bite on skin, and annoy by turning around what they perceive as food sources, usually our heads. While some insecticides help, it’s unfortunately an insect we have to learn to live with in many parts of the world.