Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) are an invasive species of mosquitoes that have settled into their home here in Franklin County over the past decade. It is generally thought that the species made its way to the US through the international used tire trade, as tires are excellent sites for their eggs. The stripes on their legs earned them the “tiger” nickname. They are a smaller but very aggressive species that likes to bite humans during the day and the evening.
Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in containers holding water close to people’s homes so they can stay close to their favorite food-you! Once they hatch, they don’t stray far.
Asian tiger mosquitoes have been shown to be capable of spreading a number of diseases caused by arboviruses, such as Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, and potentially West Nile. Please note that to spread diseases like Dengue, humans in our area must already be infected with it for a mosquito to transmit it. At this time, most of these diseases are not locally transmitted here in Franklin County.
Since Asian tiger mosquitoes are active during daytime hours, they are also difficult for us to control with our nighttime truck sprays. Our truck sprays will only kill mosquitoes that are actively flying at the time of application. They also can breed in the tiniest sources of water, even something as small as a bottle cap! That makes it very hard to find and eliminate all of the water that they can lay their eggs in, especially when it is hidden in backyards.
Asian tiger mosquitoes most likely arrived in our area via scrap tires. Tires that are not on rims can easily collect rain and water from other sources inside of them. The shape and rubber material of the tire protect the water and the mosquito larvae from drying out. Asian tiger mosquitoes will lay their eggs against the inside of the tire and will eventually hatch when there is enough water inside. Eggs can survive for up to a year while dry, so even tires that are currently dry may end up breeding mosquitoes later or the next summer.
In Ohio, tires are banned from landfills so you can't just throw them out.
We set over 150 mosquito traps throughout the county each week! One type of trap specifically targets the Asian tiger mosquito and its much more dangerous relative Aedes aegypti (currently not found in Ohio). See our mosquito surveillance dashboard here and click on the last tab to see Asian tiger mosquito numbers each week by trap zone.