Scientists warn U.S. cities of attack of the urban mosquitoes

July 21, 2011 NEW YORK – The latest scourge crossing the country has a taste for the big city. The Asian tiger mosquito, named for its distinctive black-and-white striped body, is a relatively new species to the U.S. that is more vicious, harder to kill and, unlike most native mosquitoes, bites during the daytime. It also prefers large cities over rural or marshy areas—thus earning the nickname among entomologists as “the urban mosquito.” “Part of the reason it is called ‘tiger’ is also because it is very aggressive,” says Dina Fonseca, an associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University. “You can try and swat it all you want, but once it’s on you, it doesn’t let go. Even if it goes away, it will be back for a bite.” Dr. Fonseca is leading a U.S. Department of Agriculture effort to develop a cost-effective method to control the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) population. The university is currently focusing on using larvacides, which render larvae incapable of growing into adults. Since urban areas tend to be warmer—often by 5 to 10 degrees—than rural areas, cities are seeing tiger mosquitoes earlier and sticking around longer, often into October. “The Asian tiger mosquito arrived this year in June—three months earlier than last year,” says Wayne Andrews, superintendent of the Bristol County Mosquito Control Project in Taunton, Mass. The species has been traced to 1985, when a ship arrived in Texas loaded with used truck tires, perhaps from Japan, which is a major used-tire exporter, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The eggs hatched when they were exposed to water. Since then, the species has made its way from Texas to Florida and up the East Coast, says Gary G. Clark, a research leader with the Agriculture Department. “Now, more than half of the states have this aggressive species,” he says. –WSJ
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3 Responses to Scientists warn U.S. cities of attack of the urban mosquitoes

  1. kathrin says:

    wow…now there is the name of them.
    i once met them at a place where never before had been such a lot of mosquitos, and very interesting for me, they had stripes. never saw them before.
    and they were so massivly attacking me and the other ones, most of them children, i´ve never experienced before.
    but i wanted to stay in this place for 10 days. outside, sleeping in a tipi.
    the very next day, i gave up. i decided, i cant do anything about them, so i just gave in and let them sting me. the first, second, third, fourth….and, nothing! i found out, that usually not more than four of them are in one place, and after feeding them, they just let me be.
    so i let them, and nothing happened to me anymore, no scratching no red spots, nothing, no allergic reaction of my body.
    try, you cant get rid of them if they are around
    love and light


  2. Nymphaea says:

    I am really amused when “scientists” cite a moment in time when an invading species infiltrated the US. Considering the number of US military bases in Asia and their engagement in Japan and other Asian countries long before 1985, any number of ships could have transferred any number of species to and from the US. American whaling vessels were known to transfer the culex mosquito which is endemic in America to New Zealand. Much of the engagement in Asia took place in the jungles which surely provides ample opportunity for such transfer. In fact the invading species was probably in the US long before that and it is more plausible that changes in climate conditions has just increased its range within the country. US authorities give the impression that the US is a biological fortress and not subject to the laws of natural selection, adaptation of species and colonisation of new environments. It’s ludicrous to think that these entomologists are so astute that they can pin-point the exact moment in time when the very first mosquito arrived in the US! There is only so much that an empire can control unfortunately and nature isn’t one of them.


  3. Mike Swayze says:

    I tried the outdoor aquarium and it was hard to keep the fish alive to eat the mosquitoes. After puting up a small night light, I’ve got bunches of rogs which seem to work well- they do attract a few black snakes though. I can’t seem to find the night light flea traps(large fly paper)- they would be ideal for mosquitoes.
    So where can I can get someone to pay me to take some used tires- I’d like to use them for permaculture construction of a few pond levees…..


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