Summer is here and so is the “Asian Tiger”. This aggressive mosquito is black with white stripes on its legs and a white stripe down the middle of its head and back. The Asian tiger mosquito has become a serious pest in parts of Maryland and doesn’t respond well to traditional mosquito control methods. It bites during the day and even follows people into their cars and homes. Because of these mannerisms, the State’s control program can’t contain the species adequately.
However, there are a few ways YOU can help tame the “tiger.”
The Asian tiger mosquito is a weak flyer; it flies not more than 100 yards from its breeding site. Therefore, the mosquitoes that are biting you in your yard most likely are breeding in your yard.
Check your yard for ANY containers that can hold water.
Even the smallest amount of standing water (1T) can serve as a breeding site. The ‘tiger’ lays its eggs in these sites and they hatch within a few days of being flooded. Even small containers such as drinking cups can produce mosquitoes.
•Fill in any low areas in the yard, they can hold water or allow it to pool.
•Change bird bath water weekly.
•Clean debris from house gutters, sticks and leaves create areas that collect water.
•Ensure that your gutters and downspouts have positive flow and do not hold water.
•Repair leaky exterior water spigots.
•Empty containers, under flowerpots that hold water or remove them where possible.
•Turn your trashcan upside down or make sure the lid is on tight.
•Check tarps that cover items for standing water.
•Empty baby pools every three days.
•Make sure water drains out of sandboxes.
•Use only perforated drainpipes at the end of downspouts.
•Remove, dispose and/or drill holes in any vehicle tire that is exposed to water.
Talk to your neighbors about the ‘tiger’.
Your problem may be coming from containers in someone else’s yard! Many people don’t know what mosquito larvae look like or that they breed in very small amounts of water. One tire with a few cups of water can breed hundreds of mosquitoes continuously throughout the warm months.
Another line of defense is to introduce natural predators.
These include frogs, mosquito fish, purple martins and bats. For detailed information on introducing some of these natural mosquito predators to your yard, call the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Mosquito Control Office at 301-475-9123.
The last lines of defense are larvaciding and spraying.
To protect ponds, birdbaths or other standing water on your property, mosquito dunks are available at home & garden centers. Spray sheltered areas in your yard with an insecticide labeled for adult mosquitoes. ‘Tiger’ adults rest in dark sheltered areas such as under decks or porches, in thick or lowgrowing vegetation, or in outbuildings or sheds with gaps they can enter. Concentrate treatment in these areas. Read and follow all directions on the insecticide label. Many different brands will work, but some of the active ingredients which work well against Asian Tigers are: Resmethrin, Permethrin, Pyrethrin. Town park and wet areas will be covered by the State larviciding & spraying program.
Note: Cheverly has been scheduled for Adult Mosquito Surveillance and possible spraying on TUESDAY NIGHTS from June 1 through September 30.
Residents can call the Public Works Department at 301-773-2666 to report major problem areas. Complaint areas will be sent to the Department of Agriculture. They will try to check these areas first, especially if there is an area of stagnant water in the vicinity.