City-Loving Mosquitoes Invade the US

Asian invaders like metro areas and bite during the day
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 4:14 PM CDT
'Urban' Mosquitoes Invade US Cities
"Urban" mosquitoes are creating a nuisance for city-dwellers.   (Shutterstock)

Apparently mosquitos have big-city dreams, too. American cities are under siege by so-called "urban mosquitos" that are attracted to metropolitan areas, are ferocious, and bite during daytime. One big offender is the Asian tiger mosquito, which first arrived in the US in 1985 via eggs hidden in a shipment of used tires—likely from Japan, reports the Wall Street Journal. The mosquitoes are low-flying (so cover your ankles) and attracted to dark clothing.

Urban areas are typically 5 to 10 degrees warmer than rural spots, and changing weather patterns mean the invader mosquitos arrive earlier in summer and leave later than usual, explains the Journal. What's worse, Asian tiger mosquitos are more vicious than those found in fields or marshy areas. "Part of the reason it is called 'tiger' is also because it is very aggressive," says an entomology professor 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." (More mosquito stories.)

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