The summer season is favorable to the proliferation of tiger mosquitoes. In the evening or even at night, these bugs enter through openings and end up biting us. The next day, pimples or swellings appear on our skin. Apart from the discomfort caused by the buzzing of the mosquitoes, the bites of this species cause viral diseases that can be fatal. To better control these insects, it is important to identify them and take preventive measures.
How To Recognize Tiger Mosquitoes?
The tiger mosquito, whose scientific name is “aedes albopictus”, has black and white stripes on its body and legs. Its black thorax has a white longitudinal line in the center. The wings are black and slightly transparent. Tiger mosquitoes are smaller than common mosquitoes. Indeed, the former measures between 0.5 and 1.5 cm while the latter measures about 0.5 to 2 mm.
In addition, these insects prefer to roam on the lower floors (second floor and first floor). They are easy to catch when they fly. You should also know that tiger mosquitoes love to bite during the day rather than at night. However, when you forget to close your windows at night, they will happily invite themselves into your home and keep you from sleeping better at night.
How Do Tiger Mosquitoes Breed?
Tiger mosquitoes live exclusively near stagnant water such as rivers, wells, lakes, or ponds. Artificial receptacles such as drains, gutters, and roof terraces also serve as breeding grounds. A tiger mosquito lays an average of 200 eggs. When the eggs come into contact with water, they hatch and quickly become larvae. To reach the adult stage, the larvae undergo successive molts: eggs, larvae, nymphs, and adults. This molt is completed after 6 to 90 days depending on the environmental conditions.
When biting, the female tiger mosquito sucks blood, providing her with the necessary proteins for egg-laying. The blood also contributes to the maintenance of its life. After 48 hours, she will start biting again. The bite-laying cycle reproduces for 1 month (a total of 5 bite-laying cycles that will give birth to about 3000 mosquitoes!).
What Can Be Done To Prevent Tiger Mosquitoes?
Since the beginning, tiger mosquitoes have been vectors of several viral diseases: chikungunya, dengue, or zika. The skin of newborns and babies are the most sensitive to the bites of these insects. Here are some effective methods to stop the proliferation of tiger mosquitoes near your home.
Eliminate Standing Water Nearby
Unless your home is located near a natural receptacle (river, lake, pond…), you must limit stagnant water in the area.
- Check your yard for containers such as buckets, jars, drums, or debris from tires or children’s toys. Cover them up or turn them upside down.
- Cover rainwater tanks or wells with a screen;
- Check gutters for undrained areas;
- After each rainfall, remove water from each outdoor container. Put sand on the underpots to suck up any standing water;
- Make sure that your terrace or balcony is free of puddles;
- If your garden has a pond, don’t hesitate to raise fish that will eat mosquito larvae.
- Maintain the green space regularly.
- Plants (shrubs, bushes, trees, and hedges) are also prime areas for tiger mosquitoes.
- You should prune them more often to thin them out. This will prevent you from having a haven for mosquitoes.
- As much as possible, avoid planting too close to the house.
- Avoid climbing plants, although they are decorative.
- Water your plants at the base, not on the foliage.
- Use repellents and various traps
To Avoid Being Bitten by Tiger Mosquitoes, Use:
- Natural repellents: essential oils and candles;
- chemical repellents: mosquito repellent spirals, repellent sticks… ;
- electric repellents: electric mosquito repellent plugs and rackets;
- Mosquito or larva traps: to be placed in a shady area near the house;
- gadgets: anti-mosquito bracelets, portable anti-mosquito devices (to be attached to the belt);