Kill the Buzz of Asian Tiger Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance; they can also carry and spread serious disease to humans and pets. The Asian Tiger Mosquito, an invasive pest from Asia, has become more of a problem in the last few years and behaves differently from native mosquitoes. Tigers have a short flight range, about 100-200 yards. If you feel them biting you, then they are breeding nearby.
The good news is that homeowners can greatly reduce an infestation. We strongly encourage you to follow these simple steps below (or shown on the video at right). It may be all you need to do to kill the buzz and take back your own yard back.
1. Identify what type of mosquito you're dealing with. Tigers display a strong preference for breeding in small, man-made containers, especially those on the ground in shady, damp areas.
- If it is an aggressive mosquito that follows you in to your house and car - it's probably an Asian Tiger mosquito.
- If it comes out during the day (from dawn through dusk) - it's probably an Asian Tiger mosquito.
- If it's dark black with a white stripe running down its back - it's an Asian Tiger mosquito.
- If you have tiger mosquitoes, keep reading.
- If your mosquitoes are yellow to dark brown and come out primarily at night, then you have native mosquitoes that tend to breed in larger bodies of water, such at wetlands. Read more tips here.
2. Eliminate their breeding grounds!
Asian Tiger Mosquitoes demonstrate a strong preference for breeding in small, man-made containers you probably don't even think about. This is very different from our native mosquitoes that tend to breed in wetlands of all types, including swamps and marshes. In their native habitat, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes breed in bamboo stalks and inside trees. Now, they are looking for any small, water-holding containers on YOUR property.
Walk around your house, patio, garage, etc. and look carefully for anything that retains water – even just a little bit of water. If you find any, dump the water and either throw the item away or store it in or under something that does not collect water.
Tiger mosquitoes tend to remain at ground level,
especially under ground covers such as English Ivy. Other favorite spots
are under decks and shrubs, basement stairwells and crawl spaces.
Tigers prefer containers with stagnant water (not fresh) that have accumulated sediment and organic matter. Here are some of the biggest culprits to look for:
- Corrugated drain pipe off of downspouts. Each trough is a potential breeding ground. If you have many feet of drainpipe, consider replacing it with smooth PVC piping. If you can’t replace them, watch our video "Don’t Get Bitten: Avoid Breeding Mosquitoes in Your Backyard" for instructions on how to cover it with flexible screening.
- Children’s toys, especially plastic toys that have small areas where water can pool. Keep in mind that the toy itself may be very big, like a bike or a play house, but if it has handles or any indentation where water can pool in small amounts, it’s a breeding ground. MDA inspectors have also found that portable basketball stands are a big culprit as well.
- All containers, such as buckets, pails, water bottles, trash cans (including lids), storage totes, recycling containers, etc. Even if these items are kept upside down, water can often pool in the handles or lips of the container.
- Tarps that hold water, even just a little.
- Tires not on cars that are collecting water.
- Plastic chairs, tables and all outside furniture, especially if it is upside down.
- Flower pots, especially those with a saucer underneath it to catch water.
- Wheel barrels stored improperly.
- Anything that can hold small amounts of water. Even large things that hold water, like bird baths, usually have calm areas around the edges where mosquitoes can breed.
Note: If you find and eliminate all the breeding grounds, you will still have mosquitoes for up to two more weeks because they have a lifespan of about two weeks. Be vigilant and patient.
3. If you can’t eliminate or drain the breeding ground, because it’s either too heavy to move, or because it belongs to a neighbor who won’t help:
- Consider using a biorational larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Torpedoes.
- If after removing and/or treating the breeding containers and tiger adults are still numerous and actively biting, consider a barrier application, which kills Tigers on contact and may provide residual control for up to three weeks. Use only an EPA approved insecticides and carefully read and follow all directions on the label and packaging.
- Consult a licensed pest control expert if necessary.
4. Other solutions:
- For best results, get your closest neighbors involved and share these tips with them.
- Organize a “Community Clean Up Day” with your neighbors or homeowners association to educate your neighborhood about what they can do to help reduce mosquito populations.
5. If nothing works: If you’ve followed the steps above and waited two weeks and still have a problem, contact MDA at 410-841-5870 to schedule an inspector to investigate the source of the infestation and suggest remedies. The inspector will look for the breeding grounds described here.