Ready your bug repellent; there are some new mosquitoes in town. They're the Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, and they're so freaky and dangerous, they make summer nights ... and days (more on that later) downright scary.
Living in Florida, I've already been nervous enough about gallinippers -- the huge mosquitoes whose bite feels like you're being stabbed. Good times ... but at least they're not known for carrying disease. These Asian Tiger Mosquitoes on the other hand are known for transmitting more than 20 diseases, including some deadly ones like West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, and two types of encephalitis, to name a few.
And that's just the beginning of their terrifying powers.
According to Wall Street Journal, these predators don't just come out at night either. They're out all day and night, and they'll go after your pets too. Dina Fonseca, associate professor of entomology at Rutgers University told the paper:
Part of the reason it is called 'tiger' is also because it is very aggressive. You can try and swat it all you want, but once it's on you, it doesn't let go.
Ack! This is the stuff of nightmares. They've already been found in 26 states in the U.S., mostly in the East and Midwest. However, they're spreading, so who knows where you're safe.
What to do ... besides cower inside all summer? The CDC offers these tips to reduce the chance of being bitten by mosquitoes:
- Use mosquito repellents on exposed skin including: DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if feasible. Wear permethrin-treated clothing to repel and kill mosquitoes.
- Use screens on windows and doors to exclude mosquitoes and when available, A/C can make households less hospitable to mosquitoes.
- Participation in community and homeowner based vector-control strategies: Ensure that water does not collect in containers around the home and community; and chemical or biological control of larvae and adult mosquitoes when necessary.
Good to know, but what a big summer bummer.
Are you scared of these mosquitoes?
Image via naturegirl 78/Flickr